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Buddhist faith

BunksBunks Australia Veteran
edited June 2017 in General Banter

Would one describe this as wise or unwise behaviour from a fellow Buddhist?**

**based on the line "she believes in Buddhism" in the article.


  • 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

    I don't think she believes in the same 'kind of Buddhism' we do.
    Many Asian countries mix folklore and superstition in with the religion of their choosing, and as such, the belief is a muddle-puddle of different factors.

    By our 'standards' she was probably unskillful.
    By HER standards, she was doing what she thought appropriate.

    This isn't as clear-cut or either/or as it sounds.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I agree with @federica. Her actions would be considered unskillful by us because of what should have been obvious consequences. But true (non-willful) ignorance is really an issue, especially in countries where superstition runs high. And really, haven't we all done somewhat similar things simply without knowing better? Not with a jet engine, lol. But how many of us fed ducks bread before someone else told us not to? How many of us used rice in weddings until told not to? How many of us have bathed in water sources with soap while camping? Ignorance. The key is learning from our ignorance once we are faced with it. So I guess for me the key is what will this woman do with her "luck wishing" in the future?

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited June 2017

    @Bunks said:
    Would one describe this as wise or unwise

    Neither! The lady was born before airlines even existed in china. Probably not very well educated, especially so if she grew up in a rural area. And probably not "all there" anymore, just like a lot of other older people. And she obviously doesn't know how plane engines work!

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    From an engineering standpoint, definitely 'unskillful' behaviour! :lol:

    I find it sad that so many people like her profess to believe in Buddhism but in fact barely get skin deep in the teachings. In a way the monks and other teachers in parts of Asia are to blame, because they seem not to teach the lay folk, instead they assume that those truly interested in the teachings will come to them and become monks. The result is the continuation of superstitions.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Would one describe this as wise or unwise behaviour from a fellow Buddhist?**

    I would describe it as nothing more than an embarrassing moment for the poor lady...

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I wonder if she missed the irony of what she did? =)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    @Kerome it's no different than all of the people who are Christian here because it's what they grew up with. They don't delve deep into those teachings, either. It's just another label they attach to themselves so they have something to claim that they "are." People in other countries grow up Buddhist because their parents are. They just don't look any farther than that.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @karasti true, but isn't Buddhism the religion that should know better? It is all about awareness and the path to enlightenment, which is available to everyone through the practices of meditation and mindfulness, surely? So should it not be part of the Buddhist path to pursue that, one Buddhist at a time? And should we not resist it's capture in monkish communities? :lol:

    Perhaps that is a western Buddhist view. Certainly food for thought :)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    But the same could be said for any religion. Shouldn't they all know better when you truly understand what is being taught? Yet that isn't the case. We still have monks who kill other people, we have monks who abuse people, we have priests who do the same. No matter the religious practice, we still have a huge range of humans who have problematic qualities. The desire to see through them still has to be present, no matter which religion you work within. Most people don't have the desire. Looking at yourself is scary.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I think you could certainly say that there are a lot of people practicing religion just to belong, who aren't truly interested in the path.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Tis how she (and no doubt many others) sees/practices the Dharma ...Just as members here often have their own weird whacky and wonderful take on Dharma practice...It will all come out in the karmic wash...So who am "I" to judge ????

  • As with other religions, as Buddhism spread, the locals often attached their own customs or rather attached Buddhism to their existing cultures. Add to this that the elderly lady was not aware of the technology, etc. She was acting in exact accord with the traditions she knew. In the context of a jet engine, though absolutely necessary to her, tossing coins into a jet engine for luck was not a good idea.
    We all have some quirks we carry either from out practice as we learned it or from the culture we grew up in or just plain personal traits. How many from a European background still throw salt over their shoulders? How many still think 13 or Friday the 13th is a bad number or a bad day?
    Is she Buddhist? I would have to say yes.
    Is the Buddhism she practices at all like mine or yours? Highly unlikely.
    But, at some level, it is still Buddhism.

    Peace to all

  • DavidDavid Just another unique aspect of the same old thang The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    I don't even know if she is Buddhist or if she is, if what she did had anything to do with Buddhism.

    All I can tell is that the neighbor doesn't have a firm grasp on Buddhism as so I extrapolate that they maybe don't have a firm grasp on where this lady is coming from.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    In a way looking at the growth of a religion, it is natural that they bring some local elements into a religion when it is just gaining traction in a country. Local Thai superstitions, elements of Tibetan bön, parts of Tao, there are plenty of examples.

    But I find it sad that the original teachings get obscured by this. For a westerner who thinks he might learn from an enlightened master, the words of the Buddha echoing down the years have a great appeal, but you have to carefully examine even the Pali Canon to find what might be an original teaching.

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