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Buddhists/Buddhism and other religions


Can one practice Buddhism alongside another religion? Me and my boyfriend broke up a while ago and I sort of completely snapped and became anorexic and suicidal. My discovery of Zen meditation has helped me learn to be more aware of my irrational thoughts (i.e. "I'm fat, I'm ugly" etc.) and helped me develop compassion for myself and even for my boyfriend. However, I have no intention of leaving the religion I was born in, Asatru. I've started meditating when I wake up, just before I join my parents in hailing the Sun Goddess and I've discovered that my practice has enhanced my appreciation and connection to the Holy Powers. But is it alright to practice Buddhism alongside another religion or do Buddhists consider their religion the "one true way?"

Hello Rose,
  Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion.  It does not demand that you convert nor does it have a central authority figure to tell you what to do.  Though there are many different schools of Buddhism the central theme should be to strive to 'see things as they are'.  What this means is that the human mind does not see true reality and that by different means, like meditation, you can cultivate the mind to see true reality.  This is not to adopt a new belief but to have a new view of the world not conditioned by belief or conditioning.  

Clearly Zen meditation has helped you so you should continue doing it.  It may be that one day your mind opens to an entire new way of viewing things that might free you from the constraints of any belief system.  Either way there is no problem with you practicing your meditation and your beliefs.  Just keep an open mind and let the truth shine through.
Good luck to you and take care,


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Joe McSorley


I can answer questions dealing with Taoist philosophy and Zen and not the historicity and religion of Buddhism and its different schools. I studied under Dr. Richard DeMartino and Masao Abe of the Kyoto School of Zen.

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