World religion (HUM 10)

Title: The Challenges and Transformations of Following the Buddhist Path in Daily Life

Of all the traditions we study, Buddhism seems to present the greatest challenges to most of our daily lives.  Confucianism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and even Taoism, all accept the rootedness of daily life in material existence and come to some sort of accommodation with it.  All teach that there are good and bad ways of acquiring material wealth, good and bad ways of using it, and all accept that doing so id legitimate.  By contrast, Buddhism teaches it is the acceptance of the “normalcy” of materialism that gets us into trouble. One of the Buddhist concepts that we learned about was the teaching of the Middle Way– the idea that we should avoid extremes both of self-indulgence and ascetic deprivation.  But I imagine that most Americans probably couldn’t even begin to imagine what the intentional self-deprivation extreme would look like, since almost nothing in our culture encourages us to deny ourselves anything that is both legal and enjoyable.
So, for the Buddhism reflect post,
First, if you chose to follow a Buddhist path, how would your life change?  Be specific  about behaviors and lifestyle and provide examples.  I am more interested in what you would do differently, than in what your belief system would be.
Second, Identify, quote and discuss a specific passage from Buddhist scripture that would be particularly challenging, but might make you a better person.
Third, some of you may remember from a few years back a news story from a Halloween party in which police were called to the scene on a noise complaint:  peering through the window into a costume party, an LAPD officer saw a man brandishing a pistol.  Though the weapon turned out to be a movie prop, officer Tariel Hopper reacted immediately to the perceived threat and shot Anthony Lee several times.  Anthony Lee was declared dead at the scene.  Newspaper accounts later reported that Mr. Lee was a practicing Buddhist.  If he could have known about his immediate demise, what would Mr. Lee have said about his death? ) I am interested here in your application of Buddhist philosophy to the accident, not in your speculation about why a Buddhist would take a fake gun to a costume party).  How would that reaction differ from a Hindu reaction?
Finally, in what ways was the path the Buddha taught a religious path? To what extent has Buddhism remained true to the teachings of its founder and to what extent has it evolved toward becoming a more conventional religion?
(Using either book “Anthology of World Scriptures” 9th edition by Robert E. Van Voorst, or ” The World Religions” 50th edition by Huston Smith)
(Read Smith, chapter 3, “Buddhism,” and Van Voorst’s Introduction to Jainism)