A lady at my work has a Buddha on her desk. She's on vacation an today and i had to work at her desk. I accidentally touched it and her friend said oh 'my don't touch that she prays to that Buddha for bad things to happen to you all'. Well let me tell you I'm more than upset about this. Is this part of this religion? I will be demanding this to be removed from our work place. This seems like voodoo. It also has my hair tie around its neck.
There's no voodoo in Buddhism. Buddha preached his doctrine to help you get rid of hatred, greed and ignorance. Any curse or black magic is not a part of Buddhism, even if the lady ignorantly uses a Buddha statue for it. She only harms herself by being ignorant and disrespectful towards the Buddha.
In Buddhism we engage in 4 special prayer-like practices regarding other beings. They are called the Four Brahma Viharas or sometimes the Four Heavenly Abodes or Four Sublime States. They are:
Love or Loving-kindness (metta)
Sympathetic Joy (mudita)
More information here: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/wheel006.html
Praying for something unfortunate to happen is definitely not any part of Buddhism. For a Buddhist, keeping their mind clear of wrongdoings is a very important part of their practice and morality. Even thinking of doing something wrong can create bad karma and also make it hard to meditate with a clear conscience.
Is it possible that the person who told you that might not really understand her friend's practice at all? Perhaps she is confused or thought it would be somehow funny to spread strange stories about her Buddhist friend? Or perhaps the Buddhist friend really doesn't understand the Buddha's teachings and has Wrong Views.
In any case, I'm glad you asked here so that we can confirm, praying for bad things to happen is not any part of Buddhism. You may already know that Buddhists don't believe in a creator god and praying to a god for things to be as we wish them to be, isn't part of Buddhist practice either. We simply send out thoughts of love, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity to other beings as our form of prayer.
Buddhism teaches the cessation of anger and hatred. Anger and hatred arise from a deep suffering inside of us, and we must learn to cool down this anger and erase the suffering.
At this moment you suffer deeply because of what you heard, and this hurt has transformed into anger, and anger into hatred. It is not a pleasant feeling. But, it can be reversed. If we know how, we can transform garbage into good manure, and good manure into beautiful flowers.
It occurs to me that your friend with the Buddha statue has sadly misunderstood Buddhism, or perhaps the person informing you that she prays for bad things to happen has wrong information.
The Buddha statue isn't the cause of suffering in your life. With peaceful intentions it can also transform into a beautiful object.
It is the harmful emotions of anger and doubt that are behind it that need to be addressed.
Complaining about the Buddha statue won't help things change, will it? In all likelihood, this can create more anger, and as a result your ill feelings for her will increase, as will her's. Even when the statue is removed, the anger will remain. Nothing is solved.
To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible.
When a person’s speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply. Because he has so much suffering, he becomes full of bitterness. He is always ready to complain and blame others for his problems. This is why you find it very unpleasant to listen to him and try to avoid him. To understand and transform anger, we must learn the practice of compassionate listening and using loving speech.
Compassionate listening is a very deep practice. You listen not to judge or to blame. You listen just because you want the other person to suffer less. The other person might be our father, our son, our daughter, or our partner. Learning to listen to the other person can really help her to transform her anger and suffering.
If the practice is correct, if the practice is good, you don’t need five or ten years, just a few hours may be enough to produce transformation and healing.
We cannot do it immediately, or even tomorrow, but if we practice emotional awareness and deep listening in our life for a week or two, we can listen with compassion to those who hurt us, and help them transform their anger.
If you are interested in learning more about deep and compassionate listening, I recommend a short but excellent book, by Thich Nhat Hanh - "Anger - wisdom for cooling the flames". You can also find it on the internet.