Questions tagged [traditions]

Traditions within Buddhist daily life including but not limited to holidays, death rituals, marriage, patterns regular worship and methods of personal address.

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21
votes
7answers
32k views

How do Buddhists express condolences?

Since converting to Buddhism, I've been unsure how to express condolences when people pass away. Everything familiar that I might say comes from a Christian perspective such as "being in a better ...
11
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7answers
37k views

Is there any significance to shaving the head?

I have noticed when I look at Buddhists, or Buddhist monks, that they have shaved heads. Is there any significance to that? If so, then is it an obligation for Buddhists, or at least Buddhist monks ...
11
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2answers
670 views

Could someone provide a list of all Buddhist schools?

If someone could provide a list of all Buddhist schools (both extinct and extant) it would be much appreciated. If this is unmanageable due to the high number, major schools would be good, or a link ...
9
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6answers
5k views

Proper way to address a bhikkhu?

I have seen many ways to address a bhikkhu, and I'm wondering about the proper way to address a bhikkhu, in writing?
9
votes
4answers
19k views

Significance of touching forheads in Tibetan Buddhism (Karma Kagyu)?

I have visited a local group of Karma Kagyu practitioners once, hearing a Dharma talk and participating in the mantra, rituals, and meditation. At this occasion, the members of the Sangha greeted ...
9
votes
2answers
595 views

What is Buddhist law of marriage ? Is there any?

Should both partners be Buddhist in a marriage? If they want get a love marriage can they still get married if one of the partners is not Buddhist. What is the law in Buddhism about marriage?
8
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4answers
311 views

Is there a tradition or practice involving fasting in Buddhism or Buddhist countries?

Many religions have period or specific practice including fasting. I'm aware of the eating prescriptions of monks, but are there traditions or practices involving fasting for Lay-people? If not in ...
7
votes
3answers
345 views

What is the benefit of staying with one method, lineage or Dharma tradition?

I've been thinking around this recently ... we are privileged as a generation to have access to so much information - contemplative methods, traditions, teachers, books etc. How does this inform our ...
7
votes
2answers
820 views

Buddhist Holidays & Gifts

Are any Buddhist holidays associated with gift giving? If so, which holidays and what types of gifts are customarily given?
7
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5answers
809 views

Why do monastics in certain Buddhist traditions take new names?

In the Theravada tradition, and perhaps others, monastics take a new name when becoming bhikkhus/bhikkhunis. Where does this tradition come from, and what is its significance? Others don't - what's ...
7
votes
2answers
19k views

What would one encounter at a Buddhist temple service?

With the understanding that there are many different traditions and cultures within Buddhism, I wonder if it is possible to describe what a newcomer might encounter if they went to a temple service ...
7
votes
2answers
652 views

What was the 1st Buddhist Council about?

I'm interested in the 1st Buddhist Council, i.e. why was it held, where was it held, who attended it and what were the outcome? I'm not looking for an in-depth and detailed answer. More like an ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Who is the laughing Buddha?

Given that Gautama Buddha was an ascetic until shortly before his enlightenment and several Dhammapada verses reflect a moderate attitude toward food, such as: Verse 7: He who keeps his mind on ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What practices are included in (daily lay) life for a Buddhist? [closed]

There are a number of Buddhist traditions, each with different teachings and practices. What are the daily practices lay people normally live by? For instance, living by five or eight precepts, in ...
6
votes
6answers
1k views

What is Hardcore (Pragmatic) Dharma?

I've come across this term recently and have seen quite a few opinions and definitions. My understanding is that it is actually a hardcore Theravada movement that is in some ways a conservative ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

How important are incense and candles to a meditation practice?

What is the function of incense and candles to a meditation practice? Are they used in all types of meditation or only some types?
6
votes
3answers
307 views

Do any Buddhist traditions emphasize pilgrimage?

I'm aware that other religions such as Islam have a great emphasis on pilgrimage. Do any Buddhist schools or traditions also have an emphasis on pilgrimage and if so where do they go? I know that ...
6
votes
5answers
395 views

A question regarding the level of worldly participation for a buddhist monk

I noticed some buddhist monks spend a lot of their time teaching and giving dhamma talks, while other monks spend minimal time on these things. I was wondering if there are any rules in the monastic ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the rotating cylinders in monastries, and why are they there?

Sorry, as I don't know the right term for them. But, I have noticed these huge copper cylinders(when I went to visit a temple in Dharmashala), which are kept like 5-6 in a row. They have engravings ...
6
votes
3answers
40k views

Practice of saying Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

Some Buddhists like to say Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!, usually 3 times. There is some info here and here on this. How did this practice originate? Are there any references to the Pali Canon or other texts ...
6
votes
1answer
90 views

What is the mental factor of Adhimokkkha (determination) use for?

I am interested in what many ways Adhimokkha(determination) is used in meditation or other purposes in different traditions.
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Buddhist funeral process

I am seeking a proper guide on Buddhist funeral process in India. What are the things needs to be taken care while performing the last Ceremony With Metta
5
votes
7answers
392 views

Celebrate Christmas

Is it wrong when Buddhist celebrate Christmas? I definitely shocked when I saw a monk facebook's status then he wrote that we do the wrong thing when we celebrate Christmas. Is that true?
5
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4answers
766 views

Did Buddha say “this is the Middle Way”?

Various Buddhist schools and traditions can have rather different outlooks. And they don't deny this. But most traditions seem to have at least one thing in common and that is calling themselves/their ...
5
votes
3answers
589 views

Purpose of scattered thing or food under tree?

We often see things scattered under the main tree in the Buddhist Theravada temple yard. There is also fresh fruit cut open. It seems they are put under the tree deliberately and regularly. Does ...
5
votes
3answers
176 views

Iconography in Buddhism - from the Greeks? And why isn't the Buddha bald?

When you read or hear about Gotama leaving his home and family, the story is usually something like "he shaved his face and head and went out to be a wandering monk". But very few depictions of the ...
5
votes
1answer
230 views

Examples of Buddhist traditions that are derived from popular superstitions

In the online book Good Questions, Good Answers there is the question Why do people do all kinds of strange things in Buddhist temples In the answer it says It's true that some of the things ...
5
votes
2answers
372 views

How do monastic rules differ in each tradition?

Theravada monks have to follow the 227 Patimokkha rules and the Vinaya Pitaka from the Pali Canon. But how is it for monks from the other traditions like East Asian Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana ...
4
votes
5answers
349 views

What are the main warning signs in a Buddhist centre?

I have been to different temples/centers/monasteries from different schools, most of them I would return regularly, but in a few I found things that didn't agree with some personal views. I must say ...
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Saying Grace before meals

When I was in rehab (15 years ago) I was at a Camp Hill community. It wasn't really that helpful for my drug problem. Maybe I wasn't ready at the time and because I don't believe in God, I had a lot ...
4
votes
4answers
922 views

Tradition and purpose of prostration practice

In the triratna Buddhist community (who I practice with) there is a prostrations practice for those going through the ordination process. I'm sure we have taken this practice from another tradition.I'...
4
votes
2answers
68 views

Are reasons causes?

When we ask someone "why do you do that?", we are asking for her/his reasons. It someone asks me "why do you play tennis?" and I say "I like to stay fit and I like to have fun. Tennis is good ...
4
votes
1answer
893 views

What is circumambulation?

I read about this from time to time-- usually in reference to the stupas in India that held the Buddha's relics. What was the point of circumambulation? Do any sects of Buddhism still practice this?
4
votes
3answers
276 views

What to make of Jhanas as explained in the pragmatic dharma movement?

In this set of videos two experts (Kenneth Folk and Nick Halay) go through the 13(?) jhanas Several aspects of this video make me wonder - primarily, I find it curious that they can speak and move ...
4
votes
3answers
599 views

Does your lay Buddhist name follow you for life or does it change with different temples and masters?

When you are laity and given a Buddhist name does it change with different masters and temples or do you carry it with you for life? While mostly pertaining to the Vietnamese tradition I'm very ...
4
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3answers
3k views

What is the relation between Astrology and Buddhism?

Is there a relation between Buddhism and Astrology? Is Astrology present in all Buddhist traditions? Did the Buddha or his disciples make use of Astrology?
4
votes
2answers
164 views

Has any pilgrimage customs formed in North America?

In Asia there are the 8 pilgrimage locations based on places the historical Buddha did things. Has any North American Buddhist organization, sangha, or the like created a list of pilgrimage ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Significance of Three Customs Involving String

I've noticed three different customs involving string at Theravada temple service. If by chance anyone is familiar with the significance of any of these; it would be nice to know. The service is not ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

How is Uposatha practiced in non Buddhist countries?

Uposatha (a.k.a. Poya Day) is the traditional Buddhist observance day. Observances vary but one traditional pattern is to celebrate this day on the lunar calendar on each of four moon events; the new ...
3
votes
3answers
604 views

Is praying to a statue of the Buddha for bad things to happen part of Buddhism?

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
218 views

How important is lineage in Buddhism?

I practice with the Triratna Buddhist community and while I am personally very comfortable with the organisation and its values, it has been criticised for a lack of lineage. Generally speaking how ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Buddhist believe fortune teller?

As a Buddhist, I only believe Buddha ,Dhamma,Sangha. But some of my relatives still believe fortune teller. What should I do with people who try to read and tell my future.
3
votes
2answers
269 views

Is it disrespectful or unlawful to have dharma tattoo in Sri Lanka?

I read sometime ago that a woman with a Buddha tattoo was deported from Sri Lanka. Is it illegal because it's a Buddha image? Or other symbols like the dharma wheel are not allowed as tattoo as well? ...
3
votes
5answers
633 views

Is Uposatha on full moons or specific days?

I want to start observing Uposatha, but I'm a little unclear on what days it is. I'm finding calendars that it is the days of full moons in Sri Lanka or other countries. Should it just be celebrated ...
3
votes
2answers
437 views

Seeing things for what they are

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
153 views

Information on the best vow/Baare to do for a child's health and safety

I am a Sri Lankan Buddhist looking for help .. Our child is very sick and doctors have said any help is difficult to be given at this time for her or operated on. I would like to ask for ...
3
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3answers
98 views

In which tradition Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum mantra is used Mahayana or Thervada?

It is Tibetan mantra. In which traditon Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum mantra is used Mahayana or Thervada? Or it is used in all three traditions, since this is Buddhism teaching?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a Buddhist ceremony or service called, and what day of the week is it likely to be?

I am a student at Manhattan College. I am in a class on religious discrimination. For my class I must go to a religious service other than mine. I picked Buddhism. However I don't know what a service ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

Can there be another Dalai Lama?

From what I understand, the Panchen Lama is supposed to choose the next Dalai Lama. If he has been captured, is there any hope for another Dalai Lama to be chosen?
3
votes
1answer
178 views

What is Buddhist debate and how do I get started?

It appears in ancient India there was a style of debate that became associated with Buddhism and is still a part of at least Gulugpa Tibetan Buddhism. What is it and how would I get started?