Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Buddhist Studies | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


When I first encountered the Buddhist teachings, they vastly expanded my evolving ideas about life and helped me to recognize the limitations of my own perceptions. As a child, I suspected that perception was an individual process and that misunderstandings between people were based on different perspectives. Human beings' backgrounds and experiences seemed so diverse; it came as no surprise that they saw the world differently. Buddhist views on perception not only confirmed my suspicions, but also explained in depth the processes involved in human cognition and the ways in which our personal biases and preferences colour our images of the world. Learning about Buddhist theories of cognition and how perceptions are linked to human emotions helped me understand more about how the mind works and how it can be disciplined to achieve greater happiness.


Table of Contents

Introduction | 1

Why be a Hindu? | 10

Being Buddhist | 24

Why I am a Jaina | 75

Why I am a Believer | 127

Enjoy in the Breeze of Spring - Living in the Confucian Tradition | 150

Daoism Today: Ancient Craft in the Modern Age | 191

Analysis and Appreciation: The Case of Judaism | 235

Why I am still a Christian | 282

Why I am a Muslim | 325

Notes on Contributors | 362

Copyright Acknowledgements | 366

Index | 367


Original publication information:

"Being Buddhist." In Arvind Sharma (Ed), Why I Am A Believer: Personal Reflections on Nine World Religions. India: Penguin Books, 2009, pp. 24-74.