Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa
I can relate. I have been a practicing Pagan for many moons, and added Buddhism around 8 years ago. At first I was really sensitive to the idea that "you can't be both things" etc. As I followed my heart though, it was clear that both paths were mine. I think often the things we need find us. Both paths feed me in different (and often the same) ways.
Paganism has my ties to the earth and nature, and Buddhism tells me that everything is connected, nothing is separate. We are not separate from the earth (Mother) and the elements. This connection also reminds me that the way I treat myself and others (including the environment) matters. The witchcraft I practice reflects that connection as well when I focus on that connection to all things is what makes magic work, and real. I also think the focus on compassion in Buddhism is really sometimes lacking in some Pagan teachings, circles so that's a plus too. I love that I am not the only Pagan Buddhist! lol
Yes, I have trouble combining different religious beliefs too. Historically, people used to believe certain things because it is what everyone around them believed. People travelled relatively little and didn't often integrate beliefs of others (except by force, as in being defeated in war). Religion is very culturally based. Nowadays, we have access to all kinds of religions right at our doorstep. The internet, religious section of bookstores, temples/synegogues/churches/mosques for varying belief systems side by side in the same city.
Yet none of these religions, in origin, were "meant" to mix. Paganism is big on the "mix-and-match" thing, you often see people mingling the energies of gods and goddesses from different pantheons, different areas of the world and time periods. To each their own, of course, but this doesn't sit well with me personally.
Buddhism is a very open-minded philosophy in many ways, but how often do you see true Buddhists openly embracing the "Pagan Buddhists"? This is still a concept seen more in Pagan circles. It is also why I have not taken vows as a Buddhist in our local temple. If I was to "officially" become a Buddhist but maintain my connections in the metaphysical community, I would feel like a hypocrite.