Thursday, December 31, 2009


The Dalai Lama has said that he feels that Buddhism has an especially close relationship with Christianity. One reason for this is the existence of monks (and nuns). Christianity and Buddhism are the only two religions that support large, organized communities of monks. I will have a lot to say about monks in this blog because this is the point of commonality between Christianity and Buddhism that I feel allows them to be combined in practice. However, there is an important difference between the two religions on this topic. Buddhism is clear that monks embody the ideal practice that everyone should strive for. This is because Buddhism is clear that enlightenment is the goal, and that monks are more likely to get there than lay people. In Christianity, it is generally believed that monks are more likely to become saints, but moving toward being a saint is not the overt goal at most churches. There is a strong emphasis on being good, which is a step in the right direction, but the practices and beliefs of monks, which are meant to bring you much closer to God, are not encouraged for lay people.  

A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life

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