I think I have just coined a new term. I was pondering on this for the last 2-3 days but the term wasn’t taking shape – this morning it dawned on me all of a sudden. I didn’t find anything googling for this term, although the term ‘Coffee table Buddhism’ did turn up.
Coffee table religion is simplified, ready-to-use religion which is home delivered to you. It has a list of simple tasks that you can carry out, feel good about having done something positive and talk about it over coffee.
Consider as an example charity. Charity is good if you loose your desire to resort to foul means to get something: if I donate $1 today, I will not steal someone’s $1 tomorrow. However, charity is bad if it becomes just a way to increase your ego. I have talked about this in my podcast.
Almost all the tenets of coffee table religion is just a way to boost ego. To meet the Lord, we need to obtain the path from the Guru: waking up early and following the rules of the Creation. The ultimate aim of true religion is to inculcate a love for the Creator within yourself. So far as that does not happen, there is no reason to boost your ego.