My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling Julie,
Thank you for your email. I am very sorry for the long delay. Yes, I understand your difficulties, having a different faith. Actually the more you understand Buddhism, the more you can understand Christianity, not from what other people explain to you, but from the heart. For example, in Christianity there is God, so if you know Buddhism you can think about the dharmakaya.
I understand that in Christianity people don’t believe in reincarnation, but there is resurrection, so if you don’t believe in God you go to hell and if you believe in God you go to heaven. Actually this explains reincarnation, how the consciousness goes to a different world, either hell or heaven. Reincarnation and karma are due to action, so it’s the same as in Buddhism. Karma (this is Sanskrit) means due to actions, so depending on what you do, the result is positive or negative. So there are some things that are similar in Christianity and Buddhism, but of course when you go into the details some things become different and some things are the same.
If you really know how to think, if you really know Buddhism, then you can make Christianity much deeper, with your own view and your own understanding. You will even have a much better understanding, the deeper you understand Buddhism. So this is how I think, how in Christianity reincarnation and karma are explained—if you don’t believe in God, then you go to hell and so forth.
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the Kalachakra initiation in Dharamsala the first time, he said that Jesus Christ is a bodhisattva.
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, all religions that have conduct and views as their main instruction are telling people to have a good heart and love and compassion for the living beings. That is the main focus, and it is the same for many religions. So the conclusion is the same, to generate loving kindness and compassion to others, to not harm and to benefit others. It’s the same in Buddhism and the other major religions.
Yes, of course you can [stop the practices]. It is your choice, yes, and you don’t have to feel uncomfortable with the advice I gave you in the past. You can be free from that.
Also, your mind will change later, from a smaller view to a deeper view. Your mind will change, so later you will have a deeper understanding, and later you can do the practices, but now you can be free. Later when you able to, you will understand and see deeper. So at the moment you can have a holiday, have a nice vacation.
So that’s very good, thank you very much, I want to say the most important thing is to develop compassion for all living beings, to stop giving harm and to benefit others also. Not only people, but even the insects, any sentient being. Even the tiniest insect that you can’t see with your eye but can see with a machine and the largest insect, as big as a mountain.
Thank you very much.
With much love and prayers...