Q: I have heard Buddhism referred to as fitting well with Western philosophical or therapeutic approaches, such as counselling. Don’t you think that practices such as silent sitting can be used without the need to adopt the religion of Dharma as a whole?
NN: Possibly – but then I would be a therapee who practices silent sitting. I would not be a Dharma practitioner. You see, if I am in control of my religion, then I have made it a philosophy. If I create it out of my own experience and preferences, knitting it as I go along, then my practice is always self-referential and remains a philosophy. Only religion offers us the potential of moving beyond the capacity of our own limited view of ourselves.