June 6, 2004

Quotes about Buddhism's influence and place in the West

I'm currently reading Lama Surya Das's "Awakening the Buddha" and it's got some great quotes in it:
"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description....If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." -- Albert Einstein

"The coming of Buddhism to the West may well prove to be the most important event of the Twentieth Century." -- Arnold Toynbee, Historian

"Buddhism has transformed every culture it has entered, and Buddhism has been transformed by its entry into that culture." -- Arnold Toynbee

"The Dalai Lama seemed genuinely enthusiastic about the foreigners who had recently come to Buddhism; he said he thought Americans and other Westerners had an affinity for Buddhism because they didn't believe anything until it was proven. The Buddha, he reminded me, told people not to follow anything blindly, for Buddhism is not based on belief so much as rational experiment. If, like a scientist, you replicated the Buddha's experiment, you should get the same good results -- enlightenment." -- Lama Surya Das, "Awakening the Buddha," 33.

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