I'm A Religious Chameleon

I’ve wanted to update this blog with so many things but business gets in the way. (I can tell you, if you want to live a normal life, don’t wish to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur does not have an ordinary life.)
Anyway, this is not about business today. It’s about spirituality.
In the past 2 years, I’ve started to become a teeny weeny bit interested in Tibetan Buddhism. I’ve been a Buddhist all my life but I really started knowing Buddhism when I was an undergrad in USM. That opened my eyes to what real Buddhism is about. (What you think is Buddhism today is really Buddhism-Confucianism-Taosim all rolled up like some california roll.)
But Nic and I aren’t really the temple-going sort. I don’t think I’ll be a better Buddhist just going to the temple and looking as if I’m horribly pious.
Besides, most friends think I am a Christian.
Yes, I have a lot of Christian friends (and I have dinners with the clergy) but surprise, surprise, I am a Buddhist. I don’t advertise my religious leaning because let’s face it, it’s personal (just like your sex life. If you’re gay, it’s your choice). I don’t wear anything that puts me in a specific category of spiritual people either. And this neither-here-nor-there confuses lots of people. They’re not sure if I’m atheist, Christian, Buddhist, or what-have-you.
So it’s sometimes difficult to proselytize to me. I could be anything. As my best friend is Catholic and the other is Hindu, I am familiar with the festivals and practices of both. (In fact, I schooled in a missionary school and I remembered being a 10-year old and memorizing the Lord’s Prayer!). So you could call me a religious chameleon.
But yes, back to Tibetan Buddhism. What appeals is that the visiting monks or rinpoches can speak English. Their Dhamma talks are easy to understand. They’re less fussy about protocol and understand that everyday living makes keeping the precepts a challenge all the time.
If you’re keen to hear a real rinpoche speak, a few events are scheduled in Penang this week by His Holiness Phakchok Rinpoche.
Tonight’s talk is on Amitabha Buddha at Jalan Concordia (contact Andrew Ho 012 483 3212). There are 3 other events happening – 30 April (meditation class), 1 May (7 point mind training) and 2 May (puja). All are conducted by His Holiness who really, if he weren’t a monk, would be a truly fun guy, by the look of him.
(Another Tibetan monk has an even more amazing story. He used to be a male model! Tsem Tulku Rinpoche strikes me as an extremely good-looking man! I suppose therein lies the attractor factor why he has legions of fans besides the religion of course.)