More About Buddhism
Society has placed Buddhism, for want of a better category, as a religion. In Tibet and other countries where Buddhism is the predominant faith, ordinary people, householders, adhere to Buddhist practices and rituals and follow the teachers and teachings, frequently asking for blessings from high-ranking lamas to enhance their daily lives and heal their sick. There are many different kinds of Buddhist teachings that have evolved, rather like there are many different types of Christianity that have arisen. But these differences have evolved due to the needs of people at the various locations, often taking into account and bringing in some of their previous religions to the mix. These householder Buddhists are not aiming for enlightenment, but choose to practice the tenets of the religion as part of their communities and way of life.
Buddhism also does have monks and nuns living in temples mainly in Asia, but also these days there are many Buddhist temples in the West. The monks and nuns living in these temples do so because they want to become fully enlightened; become Buddhas just like the actual Buddha. These are serious practitioners who have a calling to leave the life and world of the householder having realised the futility of worldly existence. They have realised the truth and the value of the teachings and choose to dedicate their lives to going more deeply and adopting the rituals and practices that will enable their enlightenment. They choose to renounce the world to the point where they too become enlightened.
So, if enlightenment is your aim, then you are very welcome to start or continue your journey here. But you don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the value of and experience the results of applying Buddhist meditation practices to your daily life or learning what the teachings have to offer. Anyone and everyone can benefit! Even householders.