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10 Big Questions About Buddhism, Answered

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What Is a Shaman and Can Anyone Become One?

What Is a Shaman and Can Anyone Become One?

The practice of shamanism has mystical and spiritual connotations, but it's not tied to any specific religion or creed. So, what exactly is shamanism?


Author's Note: 10 Questions About Buddhism

As a religion major in college, you'd think I would know more about Buddhism, but apparently the info I learned in that Intro to Buddhism class I took 20-(cough) years ago wore off a while ago. Like many Americans, I find Buddhist teachings at once comforting and scary. I have no problem agreeing that life would be much easier if we could free ourselves from greed, hate and other wrong-headed desires. But I also don't think that I'm ready to be reborn a couple of thousand times. Whether or not this life was a reward for past skillful actions, I feel like I've been dealt a pretty good hand. One lifetime is plenty for me, thanks.

Special thanks to Richard Jaffe, associate professor of Religious Studies at Duke University and author of the forthcoming book, "Seeking Sakyamuni: South Asia in the Formation of Modern Japanese Buddhism."

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