Thursday, September 27, 2012

Protesting monks in Myanmar


Question : (Unedited)

I've been watching the news lately and I paid special attention to the broadcast that reported the situation of Myanmar. This was of interest because it had Buddhist monks protesting and getting involved in society. I had always thought that the monks and the Buddhists people in general were discouraged from taking action in society. Does the Buddha really encourage or discourage  taking action in society?

My comment:

Hi D,

Thank you for asking me.

In normal circumstances, your question will be answered based on the purpose of becoming a monk.  A monk's life is supposed to be detached from worldly affairs.  However, in critical situations like the one in Myanmar, I would reason that certain amount of common sense and wisdom have to take into consideration.  The sangha (community of monks) depends on the goodwill of the devotees for their sustenance.  I don't think that the monks should be so heartless not to do anything knowing that the hands that feed them are deliberately tied up.  The cruel regime controls the masses with an iron fist.  It plunders the nation's wealth without a care for their citizens.  Prices are sky rocketing and the masses are threatened with hunger.  If nothing else, I would say the monks have the moral duty to stand up and be counted.  Such is the real nature of this existence.  It is very difficult to live in peace because of the prevalence of evil.  This is the Buddha's warning.

Smile from justinchoo :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Prayer for healing


Question : (Unedited)

do you have a healing prayer?  A friend just found out she has cancer throughout her body. She is Buddhist and I would like to send her some encouraging message that pertains to her faith.    Thank you. 
My comment: 

Hi B,

There is no healing prayer in Buddhism.  Otherwise all will be healed by just chanting the "healing prayer".  A lot of Asians claim to be "Buddhists" but just in name only, for they do not even know who the Buddha was.  I take it that your friend is a "practising" Buddhist.  Then you got to find out which tradition she practises.  Different traditions have different "prayers" for the sick.  

My opinion is that a simple message to this effect will suffice:  
"May the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha give you strength to face all adversity, and may you regain your health in due course."

Hope this helps.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I Want Happiness

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A very special Buddhist friend passes away

CT Chang

Today is September 11, 2012. It is a very sad day for me. To the world this day is also a very sad day.

On September 11, 2009, my internet friend CT Chang was given only 6 months to live by his doctor.  He was diagnosed with 4th stage kidney cancer which had spread to both his lungs.  He fought on and lived for another three very fruitful and eventful years.  During that period he posted his cancer progress and findings in his blog "Upekha" and gained much respect for his resilience and courage fighting cancer.

If you are interested to know more about Chang. please read my article as a tribute to him in Hubpages

(Chang's favourite spiritual piece)
The Chant of Metta by Imee Ooi

Monday, September 10, 2012

Positioning of Buddha photo


Question : (Unedited)
i have some duddha photo kept at my praying place, but recently my friend told that this is not the direction it should be kept. so i request you to tell me how it should be placed and which direction.

My comment:
Hi A,

Thank you for asking me.

Placing of Buddha images and pictures were introduced by the followers long after the Buddha passed away.  It was natural therefore, to place the object of veneration at the most respected position.  As with all cultures, the most honourable position would be the centre at an elevated position.  On the opposing end, it would be disrespectful to haphazardly place objects of veneration anywhere we like.  I would say we just need some common sense to know which position is respectful and which is not.  So long as you feel right, then there is nothing to say that you are wrong.  Do it with a clear conscience and all will be well.  If you want my direct comment, you need to tell me how you position the photos.
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