Tag Archives: Emperor Ashok



Journey into Buddhism

In the years following Buddha Shakyamuni’s demise Buddhism was propagated in all sorts of ways; mendicant monks travelling around the country spreading the word to name but one.  Following the famous conversion by Emperor Ashoka, Buddhism became enmeshed into the political system of his ever expanding Empire and was soon adopted, perhaps not always willingly, by his subjects.  Much proselytizing went on.  However, fast forward to more contemporary times and we find most Buddhist traditions don’t set out to make converts.  Indeed, the Dalai Lama has been heard to suggest that “everyone should pursue the religion of their homeland to find happiness & fulfilment …….” Many teachers have to be ‘requested’, some up to three times, to give teachings.  In the West, one has to find Buddhism – it doesn’t find you.  So how then does an early middle-aged Englishman, professing no more than a rather woolly amalgam of atheism, humanism and agnosticism, and decidedly not searching for anything spiritual, end up involved in Buddhism?


My answer, nearly a quarter of a century ago, was “by chance” or “I stumbled across it”.  But that of course was before I had much idea of the weird and wonderful ways of karma.


In the late eighties and early nineties Continue reading