I'd like to ask a few questions, if I may. I am having some trouble seeing meanings or attributes being assigned to some things in Buddhism.
The yellow robe worn by monks is an emblem and reminder of the Triple Gem, as is the Buddha Statue. Therefore one is really bowing to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, not to some person or statue.
I've also heard that one bows to show respect for the monk/nun/Buddha image. What is the actual meaning of bowing? I don't think that it makes the respect I already have for people any different. I can't seem to understand if it is right to assign a meaning to such simple act. Shouldn't we be seeing this just for what it is? (Bending the body, moving)
Another example that I could use is the general idea of beauty. I know it results from the personal interpretation of the things that surround us, and we should set ourselves free from any kind of personal point of view. Yet, i've seen people (monks) talking about the beauty of the nature, and at the same time I disagree with such thing, I can only see nature as a beautiful thing. How do I deal with that?
Different people find different things pleasant. Therefore, pleasure is something personal and results from our personal interpretation of reality (an example of this is humor). The buddhist teachings tell us that there's no problem on feeling pleasant sensations, yet one can't cling to them. But if we should see things for what they truly are, finding something pleasant is not right, is it?
Thank you in advance, Nicolas