The other day Hilary in Mississippi sent me the link to a website for a Buddhist Center near Memphis, in Batesville, Mississippi. Reading over the teachings of the Center's teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, I was touched deeply, as I always am when reminded of Buddhism's core teachings.

I have seen that Buddhism in many places has degenerated into a religion where people pray to Buddha statues, asking for Devine intervention in their daily lives. However, it seems to me that Buddhism in its purest form is not a religion, but rather an insight or philosophy.

On the Center's webpage "The Five Mindfulness Trainings" are described:

These teachings are ecologically sound. They are sustainable. They are harmonious with patterns expressed in the fabric and structure of Nature. The teachings are not inert commandments handed down from above, but rather invitations to sensitize, and then change ourselves once we understand things more clearly -- to evolve to higher levels of being, as Nature always has evolved.