Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It Can Be Difficult To Practice What Is Preached - Especially When Money Is At Stake

Dear Tazi:

I have been raised Baptist, but am considering changing my religion to become a Buddhist. I have been studying the lessons of Buddha in my Eastern Philosophy class this semester, and I can really relate to them - much better than I can relate to my own religion. The problem is, as I am sure you can guess, breaking the news to my family; especially my grandparents, who are pretty devout...and pretty rich. I am pretty certain they would disavow me from their will, which right now leaves me a pretty hefty inheritance. As you can see, the situation is not pretty at all.

I have considered converting and just not telling my family about it until after my grandparents (who are quite elderly) have passed, but this feels dishonest. Maybe I should simply wait until after they have passed to convert? What do you think I should do, Tazi?

Seeking Inner Peace

Dear Seeking Inner Peace:

There is a lot I could say with regard to your letter, but I will keep it simple and respond with a quote from Buddha himself: A jug fills drop by drop. I don't mean to sound as confounding as Buddha; but if I am, let me explain further: You are at an age where you are starting to question everything, most especially the beliefs with which you were raised, as you seek to exercise your free will. You have been raised in the Baptist church your whole life - and that is a lot of drops in your jug - whereas you have studied Buddhism for all of one semester; that is very few drops. A jug fills drop by drop.

The tone of your letter tells me that you are not yet ready to own your decision to convert to Buddhism; which means you are not yet ready to convert. It is also obvious that you are not ready to let go of the physical (money) wonders of your world and experience the esoteric (spiritual) wonders of Buddhism, which also means that you are not ready to convert to Buddhism. Rather than make the radical decision to change your religion, why not try and incorporate the beliefs of Buddhism into your daily life? They are compatible with all religious beliefs (with the glaring exception of Satanism) and can help to improve your relationship with yourself as well as with others. Remember, as Buddha said, "However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?".

In time, if you find that you want a more active relationship with Buddhism, that will be the time to delve deeper into the idea of a conversion.


With appreciation to BrainyQuote.com for the wise words of Buddha Shakyamuni. --T.K.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.


  1. Well worth noting, as long as we discuss the topic, is that Jesus and Buddha have a lot in common, especially in terms of their teachings. If you do decide to make the conversion, and you want your family to understand, you might recommend to them a book called "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings" (which you can find on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Buddha-Parallel-Sayings-Seastone/dp/1569751692).

    As Tazi put it best, the beliefs of Buddhism are compatible with all religious beliefs. May you find yours!

    1. What a wonderful sounding book! Thank you so much for recommending it!