I went to the Spokane Buddhist Temple yesterday to see Bhante Seelawimala speak. I have seen him once before, and his combination of wisdom and humor brought me back this time. He spoke about the four levels that each religion goes through. Beginners start at the devotional level, move to the moral level, step up to the mystical level, then end at insight, in which they see the world as it really is. The triangle rose as a pyramid, with the most adherents at the first level. This is the level that begins with offerings/sacrifices to God/the gods. Then, the religion moves to the moral level--the Ten Commandments. Then, it moves to the mystical level, where the intimate connection between God and man is discovered--"the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Then, the very few receive true insight, seeing things as they really are. This is enlightenment--Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed. Most of us will never get there, but the goal is to climb the ladder to this highest level. This is a thumbnail sketch, and, obviously, over three hours, Bhante did a much better job of explaining it than I just did. I am just a beginner in understanding Buddhism, but it does give me great peace.
The Buddhists teach that there are many paths to enlightenment, and that the Christian one certainly is one of them. In fact, for years, due to my being raised in a cult-like religion, I was dead set against religion, especially Christianity. However, due to the peaceful Buddhist philosophy, I have been reminded of Jesus's great wisdom, and I have begun reading the Bible again. I only wish that my sincere attempt at spirituality, goodness and love did not lead some of my friends and family to be worried about me and to believe I am going to hell. But that does not make me angry with them; I know they care for me very much.
P.S. I haven't listened to these yet, but here is an interesting link to some Buddhist teachings. Two of Bhante's Dharma talks are included.