I was raised a Nichiren Buddhist. The first time I read the Bible was my senior year in high school for a Western Civilization class. However, about 4-5 years ago, I left my faith because it was no longer doing what I thought a religion should do. I wasn't inspired by the teachings and I wanted no part of the community. I'm sure part of that decision came from my own fear, but part of it was most definitely the group of people I was encountering.
Now I define myself as Buddhist, but I am not quite sure exactly what kind. Yes, like in Christianity, there are different sects of Buddhism! All I know is that I like meditating and I am NOT a Nichiren Buddhist and I can't get into Judea-Christian religions...I tried, I just can't. However, since I don't know exactly what I'm talking about when it comes to a specific belief system, I usually try to keep my mouth shut and my mind open to listening to other world views...hence, why I know I'm not Christian.
This "openness" or "floundering"...whatever you want to call it...can get one into trouble. The weekend I went to Buffalo, I attended a lecture by this guy named Bijan Anjomi. He's a former Mr. Universe who's created this philosophy called "Effortless Prosperity." I won't go into the details here...they aren't really the point. Suffice it to say, a lot of what he says draws on Buddhist teachings. When I was listening to him, I didn't learn anything, but I was reminded of a lot I grew up with.
Because of this familiarity I felt, I was very drawn to him. He made it sound so easy. He wasn't the clearest teacher of the concepts, but he was brilliant at making you think that what he was saying in the moment made complete sense...even if it contradicted what he said 30 minutes ago. I was almost about to buy one of his books, until...
Someone in the audience asked about the year 2012. Bijan did not go into specifics, but he said something to the effect of between 2012 and 2016, the world as we know it is going to change radically. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. After the lecture I was speaking to some of the other people there and they mentioned something about the lost world of Atlantis and the return of "non-physical beings" to the earth. I was officially done.
But what actually scared the crap out of me wasn't what Bijan said...it was how the audience interpreted what he said. Someone actually said something to the effect of:
"When the world change happens, those who don't believe may not make it through it. Some of those people may be those we love, so we need to come to peace with that."Not only was the audience blindly accepting this Buddhism-lite, they were quite judgmental about people who weren't also blindly accepting. It was that narrow-minded interpretation of complex concepts by weak minds that made me think that I was in the midst of a cult. I've been to Bijan's website...the only reference to Atlantis is in a podcast you can purchase. All the writings on the main pages don't mention the underwater world at all. I feel like the people who are digging on him are in the middle of a bait and switch. I just want to tell them: STAY AWAY FROM ANY KOOL-AID!