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Can anyone explain this facet of bowing?

vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

This is something I asked the monks about at my Thai Theravada Buddhist temple, but they couldn't explain. I wasn't sure if they just didn't know or if it was a language problem.

When you approach a Buddha statue to chant or meditate, you kneel and bow 3 times -- once for each aspect of the Triple Gem -- to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. But, within each bow you place your hands together first in front of your chin, then in front of your nose, then in front of your forehead.



  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Could be something to do with... 'in' Body Speech & Mind

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator
    edited July 9

    Yes, I think @Shoshin has it. The hands at the chinare actually more over the heart, if the fingertips touch the chin, rather than the backs of the thumbs...

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    I second both answers

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Yoga has something similar but it is forehead, mouth and heart. For clarity of thought, clarity of speech and clarity of action.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran


    It's like the army ... do it because the sergeant says so. :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited July 9

    Perhaps it's also just a sign of respect...

    In Asian cultures the higher the hands gesture the more respect, so the Buddha =head area, the Dharma = nose area, the Sangha = chin/chest area...One shows the utmost respect for the Buddha...

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran

    As ex-Thai Theravada Buddhist monk, I can tell you that that is just a proper way to bow as taught from monastics to other monastics, and also to lay people as well. Why must there be a proper way versus any form of bowing? I think it was developed to promote form and technique, so that there is a display of beauty and organization.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    @Shoshin said:

    I like that, and I think it answers the question.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    form is emptiness, emptiness is form (touch of the mahayana bows in)

    Glad your question is answered πŸ™πŸΏπŸŽŽπŸšΌ

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