#1. She made it public and official at a Buddhist temple with others present. "I vow to take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma (Buddha’s teachings) and the Sangha (monks) three times. With this, I have begun my transition to Buddhism. These three things are at the core of Buddhist tradition.I vow to not harm other living creatures, to not take what is not given, to not commit adultery, to not lie and to refrain from consuming intoxicants. These five precepts are the 'rules' of Buddhism. With these vows and the blessing of the monks before me, I have now become a Buddhist."
#2. The decision to formally become a Buddhist surprised her friends. "Those close to me were a bit surprised when I told them I became Buddhist. They weren’t surprised I had chosen Buddhism, but rather were surprised I chose to follow any religion at all. I had been born a Catholic and then decided to follow no religion, only my spirituality."
#3. Her decision was a thoughtful one considered over many months. "The decision to join a religion was not a hasty one for me. I have disliked how many people use the institution of religion for their own personal gain rather than following the concepts of being kind and helping others that the majority of religions hold."
#4. She was drawn to Buddhism because of the "user friendly" concepts such as:
- loving kindness & compassion - "In the end, the reason I chose to join the religion of Buddhism, was not necessarily to practice its traditions, though I’m eager to learn them and participate. It was to practice the core of Buddhist belief in loving kindness and compassion, awareness and consciousness, and constantly working to improve oneself and bring oneself to further enlightenment in a more intentional fashion, as more of a lifestyle than a religious practice."
- impermanence - "As I went deeper into my study of Buddhism, I found many of the spiritual values fit to mine. I identified with its focus on loving kindness, compassion, and toleranceI also found its concept of the impermanence of things and how this can help the habit of letting go rather than allowing things to fester fascinating and to be a valuable perspective and practice. For me, who has been faced (as many others have) with many stressors from school, work and disturbances in everyday life, this concept of letting go helps me remember to not take things too seriously and to reach a state of peace and acceptance. This has also helped me to remain positive even in tricky situations."
- meditation - "Further attractive elements of Buddhism were the focus on consciousness and awareness of yourself, others and the world around you. This also helps to keep the strong feeling of peace and calm in a storm of emotions. This consciousness and awareness relates to the Buddhist concepts of releasing oneself from desires and worldly attachments. I have taken this on as a mechanism for self-improvement to keep on my path to feeling greater self-acceptance and letting go of my insecurities."
- karma - "The concept of karma attracts me to the religion as well with its mindfulness of what you put out in the universe is what you get back. So, if you intentionally do good things rather than bad things, good things will come back to you, and if you choose to take the other path, you will face the consequences. This reinforces my aim to be mindful of others’ feelings and to act in such a way that benefits others and not just myself."