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Monday, May 19, 2008

A Buddhist's self-reflection

2 years. Not quite. But it makes no difference. And yes, I'm still a Buddhist. Thriving and proud. :)

But I'm not a good one. Never been an observant one either. Being a Buddhist is more like a cultural identity to me than an abstract spiritual thing which I try hard to fathom. What irony!

The scriptures? I can only name 1 or 2.

The contents? Let's see...

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Oops... Wrong book. *rolls eyes*

I've to say I dislike those rituals which have been heavily syncretized with Taoism and the traditional Chinese beliefs. I prefer meditation as a path towards nirvana and Enlightenment though I know nuts about it. Heck, I seem to adore Catholic rituals more!

I'm always amazed at the way the Tibetan Buddhists pray. They would lay down with their whole body touching the floor with every 3 steps they take. How pious! Imagine you were to do that repeatedly at a distance spanning up to some kilometres. Seriously, I can't.

My ultimate aim for now is to gear myself towards fulfilling the 5 Precepts 五戒. Seems impossible, but at least I've managed to accomplish 2 or 3. Quite proud of myself, really.

And 1 thing I'm extremely proud of being a Buddhist is the compassionate, tolerant, and peaceful nature of this religion. As far as I know, its followers have never waged wars in the name of religion or Lord Buddha since its existence in this world 2-and-a-half millennia ago. Even when the monumental Buddhas of Bamyan in Afghanistan were destroyed by the zealous Taliban fundamentalists in 2001, not a single Muslim nor mosque was blown up by the so-called Buddhist-made bombs. I mean, do these bombs even exist?

Albert Einstein once quoted, "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism." Well, the definition of this is up to you to interpret. ;)

And according to Wikipedia, world-renowned Western personalities like Steve Jobs, Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie, Tina Turner, Orlando Bloom, Keanu Reeves, Alanis Morissette, Sharon Stone, Tiger Woods, and lots more have claimed to be Buddhists themselves. Interesting.

Oh wait, I never realize this is gonna be such a long entry! I'm tired, really. And I'll be going to Wat Nikrodharam in the morning to commemorate Lord Buddha's 2571st birthday. That's like I only have a few hours left for me to travel to dreamland. Hey, I just learn that His birthday is celebrated on different days in different countries! Can't believe I call myself a Buddhist. Haha!

And to all my Buddhist friends,


P/S: I can sense quite a number of you getting puzzled while reading the 1st paragraph. Read it more here. And a word of caution: don't preach to me. Please. I've never liked it. :)

Addendum @ 12:15PM: Alas, we didn't make it to the temple. :( By the way, I'm having lasagna for brunch, made by mum! :D

Addendum @ 5:09PM: So we did make it there. Don't blame me, it was a last-minute decision. Throngs of devotees from all over the city came to pay homage to Lord Buddha. More on this in my next entry. Meanwhile, I've returned to my university campus. :)


C K said...

There was a mini celebration to commemorate Vesak day in London's Chinatown. I caught a small erhu performance that attracted more caucasions than Chinese.

We didn't especially celebrate Vesak Day. Suspect that the landlord will freak out if try anything funny that involve flames or fire. :)

Anyway, Happy Vesak Day (holiday)!

Zhu said...

"Wrong book" :D :D :D

A Buddhist with a sense of humor, I like that!

When it comes to religion, I think it's whatever makes you a better person in life. Apparently, you enjoy the precepts and they show you the way... so why not?

I only get annoyed with believers when they start preaching other people. ;)

Jemima said...

Regardless of what religion we bleong to.. they all teach us to be good people.

Happy Vesak Day! :)

Jemima said...

typo error *belong* :p

zewt said...

so this is the reason why you went vegetarian eh?

well, no one will ever be fully put to practise the teachings of a religion, not even religious leaders... so it's ok. dont be too hard on yourself.

out of the 5... learn...4! hahaha...

day-dreamer said...

Happy Wesak Day.

And yes, some of the pics in my blog was taken using a SE walkman phone. But no, it's not mine. How I wish it is. :P

kyh said...

*be back later*

eastcoastlife said...

Happy Vesak Day kyh!

I was at the temple until 3 this morning. Just woke up for lunch. hehehe....

rainbow angeles said...

2571st bday? can buy 4D? buddha will scold? :p

happy holiday!!

Doreen said...

All religions are good, even free thinker is good too. At least you have a religion, I don't :(

SilverIsle said...

Used to be a really devoted Buddhist. After finding myself contradicting with lots of its teachings, I decided to quit, and learn from all religions. =)

_butt said...

won't say I'm a devout buddhist, since my perception of what Buddhism is is rather different. :)

Happy Belated Wesak! :D

kyh said...

C K: 5 chups!

Ah... Vesak Day in London. Sounds interesting. ;)


Zhu: 3 chups!

You sounded like as if all those Buddhists you've met before lacked some serious sense of humour! :P

*nods in agreement*

I get pissed off whenever someone's trying to act saintly. But I don't blame those religious leaders or clergymen since this is their duty. That said, it'll be too overwhelming for me if they go overboard.

Jemima: 1 chup!

True! ;)

zewt: Not entirely.

Points noted. ;)

day-dreamer: Go pester your dad to get you 1! :P

eastcoastlife: I know you're not a Buddhist, and I'm actually impressed with your willingness to go to the temple for this celebration! :D

rainbow angeles: I'll piak you on behalf of Him. :P

Doreen: True. It's so sick to see those so-called religious individuals who carry out atrocities in the name of religion. *pukes*

SilverIsle: Each religion has its own good values for us to follow. So why not? ;)

_butt: How different? o.O

claudie said...

I have a book at home "L'infini dans la paume de ma main" writted by Matthieu Ricard (who became Moine buddhist after being biologist. He wrotte with his father, Jean François Revel, Le moine et le philosophe. He is the french interprete of the Dalaï Lama) and by Trinb Xuan Thuan, astrophysician at the University of Virginie. I like bouddhism.
I had a catholic education but don't practice like most of people in France. And I met several persons who were very interesting with the buddhism. It is not our cultur but perhaps for many a way to forget our stressed life in a modern world and find again a sens + the attract for something coming from Asia. Happy Vesak Day!

kyh said...

Nice to know that! Thanks for sharing. ;)

Buddhism really does help one to find inner peace, provided you know how.

eastcoastlife said...

My hubby went to pray so I tagged along to see the celebration. It was my first time seeing the 3 step 1 bow procession.

My hubby does it every year except for this year because his elderly parents are very sick and I need him to help me move or carry them. If he did the ritual, he would not be able to bend for days and I would be very tired caring for my in-laws. :(

I'm a Christian but I don't condemn other religions. I want to learn more about other religions too. :)

kyh said...

Our world will not be in the current chaos if everyone thinks the way you do. ;)

khengsiong said...

Tiger Woods's mother was a Thai, but I am not sure if he see himself as a Buddhist...

kyh said...

Then you gotta ask him... :P