Monday, October 31, 2011

Religion vs. Spirituality

Tenzin Gyatso gives a characteristic hands-rai...Image via Wikipedia"Actually, I believe there is an important distinction to be made between religion and spirituality.  Religion I take to be concerned with faith in the claims of salvation of one faith tradition or another, an aspect of which is acceptance of some form of metaphysical or supernatural reality, including perhaps an idea of heaven or nirvana. Connected with this are religious teachings or dogma, ritual, prayer and so on. Spirituality I take to be concerned with those qualities of the human spirit - such as love and compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of harmony - which bring happiness both to self and others. While ritual and prayer, along with questions of nirvana and salvation, are directly connected to religious faith, these inner qualities need not be, however."

- the Dalai Lama, Ethics for the New Millenium, Riverhead Books, 1999, p22, quoted in Clive Erricker, Teach Yourself Buddhism, Hodder Education, London, 2008.
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  1. It looks like He is the only religious leader who is able to think out of 'the box' of his own religion, and say it out loud

  2. The Dalai Lama must be the most charismatic religious leader there is. He exudes spirituality. Even by anyone's definition. I only have to look at his picture and can't help but feel calmer. He always appears happy and serene, although by his own admission he claims to have a temper and not be the easiest person to get on with. If ever I was going to become heavily involved with a religion it would be Buddhism and much of that would be down to that man.