When I say that ‘I am a Buddhist’, I am not shouting that ‘I am good, better than you or even close to being pure’. Instead I’m shouting that ‘I was lost in the pains, unsatisfactoriness and frustrations of the world, but now I’m walking a path that leads to progressive lessening of my greed and ignorance, lessening my attachments and sufferings day by day.’
When I say ‘I am a Buddhist’ I don’t speak of this with a ‘Holier than Thou’ attitude, Never with a ‘I am going to Heaven while you are on a one way ticket to Hell’ mindset. Instead I’m confessing that I am ignorant of much Truth and need the Buddha Dhamma to be my guide. If I am bad I have an equal chance as any of going to Hell, and if I am keeping my precepts well, I too have a well deserved holiday in Heaven.
When I say ‘I am a Buddhist’ I’m not trying to show one-upmanship or arrogance but I’m professing that I’m weak and need the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha as my Refuge to carry on.
When I say ‘I am a Buddhist’, I’m not bragging of success. Instead I’m admitting I have failed time and again to let go of my Greed, Hatred and Ignorance, and need the Buddha Dhamma to help me develop qualities of Generosity, Loving Kindness and Wisdom.
When I say ‘I am a Buddhist’ I’m not claiming to be perfect. In reality my flaws are far too visible, but the Buddha has taught that everyone of us is capable of purifying himself and attaining perfect wisdom of the Truths of life. He has given me the confidence that I too can evolve to be Enlightened.
When I say ‘I am a Buddhist’ I still feel the sting of pain, the aging of my body, illness and I have my share of heartaches and failures in this ceaselessly changing world, But the Dhamma has taught me to see the realities of life, to accept change and to handle it with wisdom. My physical body will inevitably suffer but my Mental pain is optional.