Why Buddhism?

One of the first questions that comes my way whenever someone hears about the Bunny Buddhism book is, “Why Buddhism?” Of the many reasons I could give, one jumps out at me more than the others. Quite simply, Buddhism appeals to me because it acknowledges that suffering exists.

When I first decided to learn about Buddhism, I did what many people do nowadays when they want to learn about something: I googled it and landed on Wikipedia. Before long, I came to the section on the Four Noble Truths. As soon I read that the first of the Four Noble Truths is the truth of suffering, I felt a great sense of relief.

For many, many years, I had been trying to beat depression, anxiety, and chronic myofascial pain into submission with just about every solution I could imagine. When the last wave of depression crashed down on me, I realized my methods had completely failed and I needed to try something new. I was finally ready to give meditation an honest try. And very soon, my entire world changed. At last, I could see how I was contributing to my own despair and I could begin to avoid my more destructive habits.

The other Noble Truths were much more challenging for me to embrace. I did not believe there was a way to end suffering. To be honest, I’m still not sure I do. But I am coming to understand that this “end” of suffering is not so much a promise that I will one day find lasting happiness so much as it is a guide to some practical ways to reduce unnecessary suffering, a way to let go of all those thoughts that do nothing but add to what is already quite painful.

So, why Buddhism? It’s because I suffer. It’s because we all suffer, and we can all make changes in our lives to reduce that suffering. Buddhism may be part of that process. But let’s not forget that religion isn’t for everyone. One of my all-time favorite quotes from His Holiness the Dalai Lama is, “Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.”

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether someone identifies with Buddhism. Everyone can identify with pain and loss. Everyone can understand resistance to change and irrational fear and bad habits we can’t seem to break. And so, in deference to the fact that not everyone wants to embrace an entirely new religion, I chose to share some aspects of Buddhism with others using a bunny as my mouthpiece. The truth of the message is the same, just softer…and a bit more cuddly.

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About the Book

When I learned that some of my humble Bunny Buddhism tweets were going to become a book, I was overjoyed. It was a strange feeling and one I didn’t know how to handle. I had struggled with crippling depression and anxiety for most of my life, and yet here I was, wanting to sing and dance and shout from mountaintops that something wonderful had happened to – of all people – ME. But then, as it often does, the unexpected occurred.

I had a crisis of conscience.

In the ensuing months, my meditation practice turned to unrelenting thoughts and feelings of unworthiness. Who am I to be sharing wisdom with the world? I don’t deserve this book. I’m no Buddhist guru. I’m not any kind of an authority. I’m just a person who decided to take a few minutes out of each day to bring a little light into my life.

Now, here we are a few weeks away from the book release date, and it occurs to me that I don’t have to be a guru. As the bunny says, “I am not the only bunny who suffers.” And that’s just it. That’s what I have to offer. I am in it with you. I struggle. I hurt. I panic. I cry. I fall and get back up again, even when I would rather remain in a heap on the floor. It’s hard but I do it, and I don’t do it alone. So, I hope you will hop with me through this next stage of the Bunny Buddhism journey. Let me offer you some words of bunny wisdom because we all need a little bit of light in each day.

Order your copy of Bunny Buddhism: Hopping Along the Path to Enlightenment now:
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With gratitude, love and bunniness.

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