The historical person of the Buddha, born a prince and sheltered from much of reality, upon discovering the suffering outside his castle, was moved to find a way to relieve suffering. Contrary to theistic religions, he relied solely on the acute observation of the nature of human existence and the material world rather on words of a prophet or holy scriptures, to discover truth and a way to end suffering. Somehow it turned out to be the very impermanent and groundless nature of existence that most of us fear which provided ultimate peace, not unlike the peace theistic believers get from their reliance on faith in a God. Given the study of self as the source of the truth, and the failure of a predominantly theistic society to do away with violence and oppression, perhaps Buddhism can offer an effective alternative path to ethical behavior for both believers and non-believers.
Service Leader: Carl Peterson
Share-the-Plate – Our plate recipient for July-August is the Backpack Program, which provides kid-friendly, take-home nourishment to students during breaks and on weekends throughout the school year. To donate to the recipient, simply designate so on your check or offering envelope. Loose cash or undesignated envelopes in the offering plate go to Decorah UU.