Saturday, January 26, 2013

Couple having different religions.

Question: (Unedited)
I am a Buddhist engaged to marry a devout Catholic. We often argue about how we will raise our children. Understandably,as a Catholic, he wants to raise our children in the Catholic Church. We both respect and value each others religion but we cannot seem to solve this problem. How do we raise our children Buddhist and Catholic?

My comment:
Hi A,

Thank you for asking me.

When you place water and oil together in a glass, they do not mix, but still can be contained in the same glass without any pollution. However, when you introduce another material into the mixture, say, a piece of bread, then you have got a problem. The bread cannot survive intact and will dissolve in both the water and the oil. Then both the oil and water will be soiled by the dissolved bread.

Your marriage is like the water and oil in the glass. The bread, your children. I really cannot offer you any satisfactory solution. It is also a very sensitive issue. Not only both of you have problems, but also be aware that the children will be exposed to contradicting beliefs.

If only it involves water, oil and bread, then it is easy. Leave the bread alone. But can we??

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Buddha image

Question: (Unedited)
I am a Wiccan and am very fond of the teachings of Buddha. I would like to know can I incorporate Buddhism with my Religion? I have an altar set up to Him and I do respect Him

My comment:

Hi I...,

Thank you for asking me.

The teachings of the Buddha are like air. They exist everywhere, if one cares to find them. Like air, the teachings are free for everyone irrespective of beliefs. Being Buddhists is just a label. It is the practice that is important. It is up to the person whether to accept the Buddha's teachings or not. If one understands and accepts his teachings, one would be committed fully to his teachings. There are many like you who subscribe to other beliefs and yet respect the teachings of the Buddha, simply because of their universal appeal. In this respect, it is indeed an honour to us Buddhists knowing that others respect our Teacher. The Buddha never introduced the practice of paying homage to his image. It is our human weekness for rites and rituals, and desire to satisfy human emotions, that we introduced such practices. If your altar is specially set up just for the Buddha image, then it is very respectful of you. The Buddha image should not be placed with other images or objects not related to Buddhism.

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