10 Misconceptions about Buddhism

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9. Zen is dedicated to the experience of “sudden enlightenment”

The notion that “sudden enlightenment” frees its followers from the extended regimens of training in ethics, meditation, and wisdom found in conventional forms of Buddhism. Zen monks routinely expect to spend decades in full-time practice before they will be able to make real progress in their meditation.

10. All spiritual traditions, Buddhism included, are different paths to the same mountaintop.

Many great Buddhist figures state unequivocally that enlightenment is accessible only to those who follow the Buddhist path. One can get only so far (generally, rebirth in heaven) by following other religions; only Buddhism has the path to liberation from suffering. All roads may lead to the base camp, but only Buddhism leads to the summit.

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