There are lots of reasons.
- We loose confidence in the religion we grew up with.
- We marry someone who is Buddhist.
- We learn what the Buddha taught and we agree with it.
- We practice what the Buddha taught and find it helpful.
- We completely misunderstand what the Buddha taught and think we agree with a religion that we actually know very little about.
- Or some combination of the above.
Buy why do we actually take the plunge and declare, either publicly or privately, “I… am… a Buddhist!”? Because without committing ourselves, it’s very easy to get thrown off course. For example, we may suddenly realize that some of the things we weren’t happy about in our childhood religion actually turn up in the Buddha’s teachings. So if we’ve committed ourselves we don’t turn tail and run away. Because chances are we still haven’t understood the teachings.
Being a Buddhist affects all aspects of our lives, so having this wholesome identity serves as a powerful anchor.
Your turn… Why did you become a Buddhist? What are the benefits you have gained through this wholesome identity? Share in the comments below.