When I think of Buddhism, these things come to mind. (and I’m by no means an expert on the subject so am interested in hearing from others who know more).
Buddhism and the eastern way aims more for detachment rather than focusing on something or someone as we tend to do in Christianity and our western world. The Dalai Llama was the guest at a conference in London some years ago. He came out on stage and once the audience was hushed, stood and said: “I have no answers.” before walking off stage. I loved this. He was refusing to be a guru and requiring that people see him as human and think for themselves. I believe that makes him like Jesus although the way the religions are represented means we don’t always see the similarities. Both were carving a new way despite peoples’ expectations, wanting to unite cultures. This has not always led to popularity or been followed much in what I’ve seen of Christianity.
I also remember the DL saying to an eager would-be convert to Buddhism: “Oh don’t do that. Just be kind to people.” Again, I love this, because it shows his vision of the bigger picture beyond religions, even his own. He focuses on the importance of speaking a language that anyone can understand no matter what their background. I think that too is very Christ-like. There’s no ego or attachment to ideas, just love and the pursuit of unity. Religious and non religious alike could learn a lot from this.
From what I understand, Buddhists are very good at meditation and this teaches discipline of the mind, in turn leading to peace within and being true to oneself and God. It helps in letting go of those distractions and attachments/ false parts of the self that get in the way of achieving true peace. From my meagre attempts at meditation, it requires patience and lots of practice to master but brings me closer to myself and God. Deep meditation has been known to cause a spontaneous state of gratitude for me. And I can’t think of anything more prayerful than that.
Looking forward to hearing from others on this. Thanks for introducing the topic, Pierre.