I was in Thailand last week and I was offered a water blessing by a monk which I accepted. Now I'm questioning whether I should have as I am not a buddhist and wish to respect and learn of all religions. I am still wearing the white thread he gave me as a reminder of him and his kindness. Was I wrong to accept and is this an afront to buddhists?
Answer: Hi H,
Buddhism is a very accommodating and peaceful "religion". It is about how to live in peace with oneself and with the world. Everyone is welcome to participate in Buddhist rites and rituals, irrespective of his or her belief. So long as the person is willing to participate, Buddhists will welcome him or her. No need to be Buddhist to be part of the community for peace and contentment. You have showed your respect by joining in the blessing. In return, you should feel happy and blessed! As for the thread, (usually it is orange in colour), if you decide to discard in due course, just bury it in the flower pot, or in the ground.
Smile from justinchoo :-)