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It was coined by Western scholars in the 19th century in order to describe the diverse views and practices found through Asia that trace themselves to the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama.Scholars likewise regard as normative the institutional structures such as monasteries and temples common in Asian societies.From a wide range of available canonical materials we tend to choose only those texts that confirm what we are already predisposed to find there.
Blocked by confusion I survive by forging a destiny Through impulsive acts.
Self-consciously I enter situations Where personality unfolds And world impacts On my sensitive soul.
They assume what they call "Buddhism" to be a religion, broadly comparable to what we understand by the word "religion" in the West.
Such assumptions are difficult to weed out once they have taken root.
I find it useful to think of "Buddhism" as a As a culture of awakening, the term "Buddhism" denotes an internally-coherent set of values and goals ( "awakening," "intelligence," "compassion," "non-violence," etc.) to be realized through a range of philosophical, psychological, ethical, social, contemplative and artistic practices.
To reduce it to any one of these values or practices would undermine its integrity as a culture.
From Schopenhauer onwards, Western advocates of Buddhism have been impressed by the compatibility of its teachings with their own way of seeing the world.
Buddhist teachings have confirmed the views of theosophists, fascists, environmentalists, rationalists, quantum physicists and new-age shamans alike.
Buddhist practices will only be taken up if they can be articulated in a way that responds to the specific needs of people living at specific times and places.
The forms Buddhism assumes are to a considerable degree contingent upon the cultures in which it finds itself.