Humanistic Buddhism

Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order and its Los Angeles branch temple, Hsi Lai Temple, practice Humanistic Buddhism. Humanistic Buddhism is not new. Humanistic Buddhism is the teaching of the Buddha. It affirms that the Buddha was born in this human world, cultivated himself in this human world, was enlightened in this human world and taught human beings in this human world the way to experience Nirvana (freedom from suffering) in this human world and not apart from this human world.

The Buddha taught that it is through our humanity that we will attain Buddhahood – full Enlightenment. As the Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra says, “The Dharma is found amongst people.” Hui Neng (638-713), the Sixth Patriarch of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism said, “The Dharma is to be found in this world and not in another. To leave this human world to search for the Dharma is as futile as searching for a rabbit with horns.” Humanistic Buddhism teaches that one can live fully in this human world and practice Buddhism at the same time. The two endeavors are not separate but support each other perfectly by enabling one to cultivate the wisdom that clearly understands the true nature of reality. Venerable T’ai Hsu once said, “When you become fully human, you will become a Buddha (who we are already). That is the living meaning of truth.” Thus, Humanistic Buddhism encourages one to integrate the Buddha’s teachings of tolerance, loving-kindness, compassion, joyfulness, and equanimity into our lives for our benefit and for the benefit of all beings.