One very common concern we hear is that people are confused about what religion they should choose. They say, every religion says that their doctrine is the true doctrine and other doctrines are wrong. What makes Buddhism so special? How do you know that you’re doctrine is the correct one?

The answer is that we do not see Buddhism as a doctrine to be followed without question. Instead of admonishments, the Buddha gave us a method of inquiry. He specifically encouraged everyone not to follow the edicts of a teacher just because it was written or said but, instead, to see for yourself what is true. That is why the Buddha’s most valuable teaching is his teaching on mindfulness and how to observe the true nature of reality so that we can learn from it.

During the Buddha’s life and over the centuries since his death, he and countless others have followed this method and successfully achieved happiness. The Buddha’s moral teachings are a result of that inquiry. It would be a travesty if the Buddha did not transmit what he learned about the refinement of character so that those of us who have tasted the fruits of the truth can have further guidance, but none of the Buddha’s teachings should be mistaken for gospel. One must always remember what is unique about Buddhism and that is the Buddha’s most important teaching: see for yourself!

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