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Today after visiting a local high Anglican Church that I finally found open, I went to a local unofficial Vietnamese Buddhist temple. I say unofficial as the local council has not provided me with permission to worship in the Buddhist gangham style . . .

The temple garden is full of wonderful things, for example hordes of fierce looking Boddhisattva monk statues, a nuns house, barbecue, shrine with offerings of beer and choccy biscuits . . .

Buddhism is often in our minds portrayed in a particular way. Perhaps geared around ahisma, gentleness or compulsory suffering.

However there is joy and fierce determination in Dharma and . . . [?] Well what?

What part of Dharma/The Three Jewels/Buddhism has surprised you and recently offered a new understanding?

OM YA HA HUM (as those of us needing council like to say)
:om: .

Comments

  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran

    @lobster said:
    However there is joy and fierce determination in Dharma and . . . [?] Well what?

    Ya, sometimes i just start feeling like laughing demon if someone is totally depended on god or scriptures without looking for possibilities than can exist!

    It feels like joy of demon if someone is dying but next thought comes in mind that it has to happen and nothing is permanent.

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran
    edited October 2014

    I don't know. I never had the impression that Buddhism was just about gentleness and aspartame.

    It takes strong shoulders and an iron psyche to undertake to put an end to your own suffering and everyone else's.

    The Buddha is often described as having an awe-inspiring presence and he definitely was not a man to mince his words.

    I prefer bodhisattvas that way.

    Chaz
  • Guys, gals, and peeps,

    Here is the choccy biscuit shrine. Beer kept at the back. No idea what this is about? :wave: .

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Me neither.... perhaps, I guess, they mean well...

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @lobster said:
    Guys, gals, and peeps,

    Here is the choccy biscuit shrine. Beer kept at the back. No idea what this is about? :wave: .

    Did it occur to you to ask someone?

    There are 5 Vietnamese Buddhist temples within a couple miles of my house. There's always someone around , and they're always really helpful.

  • Did it occur to you to ask someone?

    There was no one around, maybe next time there will be.

    Today was in the High Anglican Church again. Contemplating how exotic and strange that must seem to those unused to its imagery . . . they had a naga shrine (well St George and the dragon) A weird baby bath (font) and all kinds of flying Boddhisatvahs or Angels or something.

    :wave: .

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @lobster said:
    There was no one around, maybe next time there will be.

    Well, lets hope .....

    Today was in the High Anglican Church again. Contemplating how exotic and strange that must seem to those unused to its imagery

    Really? In England? I suspect that in this day and age, you'd have to be from another planet to not be at least "familiar" with the imagery found in a Christian church. There's really no such thing as "exotic" any more unless you're talking about a Lamborghini or a hairdresser. Everything is just different.

    That said, I would imagine in a world less traveled by it's occupants - 150 years or more ago for someone from isolated areas of Asia, Africa or the Americas would most certainly find something like a Christian church exotic and strange.

    I also imagine that they'd most likely have to good manners to ask someone what it all meant.

    I did just that a few years ago on a visit to Nambe (NAHM - bay) Pueblo near Santa Fe. Their church (Catholic) was wide open and recently renovated. Went in and looked around. I noticed that each of the Stations of the Cross were lit by a sconce made of tin and had unusual (for a Christian sanctuary) patterns punched into it with a nail ot an icepick, or something. They were obviously not Christian motifs. Rather than get it wrong, I simply asked someone what it was about. They explained that these were images representing Sun Face - an ancient diety venerated by Pueblo Indians. That person also exlained the rather remarkable symetry in archtype and the Peoples' incorporating one belief system into the other.

    It was amazing.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Well, much of christianity is overlaid on pagan ritual.... so it may not be so surprising, on reflection, that sometimes, Christianity and Nature-Worship occasionally meet amicably....

    Chazlobster
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited October 2014

    Eh....not the first time I've seen choccy biscuits at the altar....

    I've seen can of cokes/soda, little debbie snacks, cookies..... I didn't bother to ask....I just assumed they were offering what was donated/given.

    Chazlobster
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    In the Dzogchen sangha I attend, the altar is full of chocolate biscuits, dates and other delicacies.
    I always make sure not to get to the meetings with an empty stomach.

    Chaz
  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @Vastmind said:
    Eh....not the first time I've seen choccy biscuits at the altar....

    I've seen can of cokes/soda, little debbie snacks, cookies..... I didn't bother to ask....I just assumed they were offering what was donated/given.

    Food offerings aren't uncommon on Buddhist shrines. They're usually "good things to eat" such as cookies, candies, fruits and so on. Vajrayana shrines can have meat as offerings as well, but most of the time sweeter stuff is used. "Permanent" offering bowls are often filled with rice and the the actual offering is placed on that (I use juniper tips because rice can attract rodents). There are also special permanent Tormas that represent food.

    On Tibetan shrine people also leave money tucked into any gap in the woodwork the practioner can find.

    You may have noticed a tube full of incense sticks in the picture @lobster‌ provided. I've seen this a lot on outdoor shrines at Vietnamese temples so passers-by can take a stick, light it and make that sort of offering.

    Back to Vajrayana, leftover food offerings for Tsok feast practices are put outside "for the Hungry Ghosts".

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @Chaz said:
    Back to Vajrayana, leftover food offerings for Tsok feast practices are put outside "for the Hungry Ghosts".

    Reminds me of a hungry ghost manifesting as a mouse that had burrowed its way into a chocolate cake offering at a vajrayana temple I was staying at . . .

    @federica said:
    Well, much of christianity is overlaid on pagan ritual.... so it may not be so surprising, on reflection, that sometimes, Christianity and Nature-Worship occasionally meet amicably....

    They do indeed. We have an Isis shrine (Black Madonna) in a local church . . .
    This statue is now just a piece of charcoal from a fire that burnt down most of the church.

    The previous vicar was well aware of pagan significance and she had arranged a yoni and lingam in a prominent arrangement . . .

    :wave: .

  • ChazChaz The Remarkable Chaz Anywhere, Everywhere & Nowhere Veteran

    @federica said:
    Well, much of christianity is overlaid on pagan ritual.... so it may not be so surprising, on reflection, that sometimes, Christianity and Nature-Worship occasionally meet amicably....

    Very true. Christianity is shot-through with influences encountered as it migrated away from it's birthplace. Mithraic, Egyptian, Greek, Norse and Celtic systems of belief all got brought on board.

    I think it's the same for all religions that grow into new culture areas. Even Buddhism. Statues of Buddha and Bodhhsattvas are all due to Greek influence. Tibetan Buddhism owes a lot to Bon and even incorporates influence from Nestorian Christianity in the form of brocade cloth. It's why Japanese Buddhism is different from Tibetan which is different from SE Asia.

    It's one of the reasons I like living where I do. There's an unbelieveable amount of religious diversity here. Truly amazing

  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Ehipassiko & Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    @lobster said:
    The previous vicar was well aware of pagan significance and she had arranged a yoni and lingam in a prominent arrangement . 

    That must set the average old church matron pondering...
    :crazy: ..

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 2014

    @DhammaDragon said:
    That must set the average old church matron pondering...

    Perhaps.

    Perhaps no more than they ponder their kitchen implements when grinding spicey stuff for the Church fete . . .

    Buddhadragon
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yeah, but pestles and mortars don't really have much spiritual significance, really. Diff' kettle o' fish....

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