Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia

30/12/201606:11(Xem: 4467)
Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia
Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia
(From Vietnamese Buddhist student 
at the Summer Retreat in Kyneton, Victoria, Australia, 29 December 2016 to 2 January 2017)


Typing by Venerable Thich Thong Phap

 

 

1/ How does reincarnation work in Buddhism?

 

2/ When we pray who do we pray to? And the words we say when praying what do they mean?

 

3/ Have you ever been in love?

 

4/ In the future when treating patients how can I use Buddhism to help me?

 

5/ If good and bad are all relative to a person, let’s say, to a terrorist bomber, what they are doing is a good thing, but to others it is not. So that would mean right and wrong is relative too. So how do we know that something is an ‘absolute’ right thing who says that this is right and that is wrong.

 

 6/ As a practising Buddhist lay person how can I reconcile my desire to be successful/ambitious/career-driven with the Buddhist concept of right livelihood. Sometimes it feels like the pursuit of being successful career-wise is very wordly, driven by materialism. Can I be a decent Buddhist AND a successful career person. Is this possible?

 

7/ As a Buddhist monastic/ practitioner, can you recommend some useful and practical strategies on how to overcome things like a panic attack/anxiety attack. Can you offer some strategies on how to deal with a situation when these feelings arise and some tips on how to minimisenthese feelings/situations from arising.

 

8/ Every morning when I read the news, there are so many reports on war and destruction happening all over the world. This sometimes leads me to feel overwhelmed, helpless and somewhat guiltyfor the relatively peaceful life I have. How do Itransform these feelings of sadness, anger and helplessness into something a lot more productive and constructive?

 

9/ This is a question for everyone on the panel:

  • • What is one hope or aspiration you have for the young people of the world?
  • • What is one piece of knowledge or wisdom you would like to impart to the world before you depart from this life?

 

10/ What is the Buddhist attitude towards astrology i.e. horoscopes and star signs? Is it something that we should take with a grain of salt, or can we take it somewhat seriously?

 

11/ Can you explain how feelings of self-doubt are also a form of attachment to self? Can you offer strategies on how to be more loving and kind towards yourself, and not place so many expectations on yourself?

 

12/ Can you offer strategies on how to manage anger? When I’m in the middle of being angry, it is often very difficult for me to stop and be mindful because I am so caught up in the emotion. How do I learn to stop being so caught up in the emotion. How do I learn to stop being so caught up in my emotions, so I don’t end up engaging in thoughts, speech and action that I may regret?

 

13/ How do you decide what is “good” or “bad” when the issue of morality is subjective? For example, in some cultures, it is acceptable to kill animals and offer them as sacrifices to higher beings. In their minds, this is perfectly acceptable and not considered a ‘sin’. So since these people have killed without bad intention, do they still suffer from negative karma? Even if their intentions were not entirely unwholesome, they have still committed the act of taking a life. Does this still create more bad karma?

 

14/ Are there any monastic rules that might bar a transgender person from receiving full ordination to become a monk or a nun? In this case this transgender person would have undergone surgery to change their sex/gender. I am more interested in the Vietnamese Mahayana tradition, because even in Vietnamese culture transgender people are shunned by their own family, relatives and friends.

 

15/ In the west capitalism dictates that our free will is determined by how much money we have. For example if we had more money we can pay for our tuition fees and college courses. Basically wisdom in western society is accessed by those who can afford it and are fortunate. Even free will itself is an illusion for a person can go left or right, downstream, but in that river we cannot swim back, we are determined to go one way regardless of our material, financial choices. What is freedom then? When the power to choose is either redundant or negligible?

 

16/ Why is there pain in life?

 

17/ I have a non-Buddhist friend who sufers from severe depression. Can you recmmend somethings to me that I can say or do to help alleviate fear/suffering/depression?

 

18/ What do you think about abortion?

 

19/ Is there any evidence of the religion?

 

20/ How do I find happiness?

 

21/ Do you enjoy teaching children about Buddha?

 

22/ Do you support gay marriage?

 

23/ How do we find light and happiness when a time of darkness is about to approach?

 

 

***

 

 

24/ Did you grow up in a white household?

 

25/ What did you think of 2016?

 

26/ Do you like cheese?

 

27/ Do you support Donald Trump? Why did Donald Trump win?

 

28/ How long have you been a monk?

 

29/ What is your name?

 

29/ What is the date that you became a monk?

 

 

31/ How did you meet my mother?

 

***

 

32/ How many people do you estimate that follow Buddha?

 

33/ How old was Buddha when he left home?

 

34/ What age did Buddha pass away?

 

35/ Why do monks shave their heads?

 

36/ How many Buddhas are currently recorded in history?

 

37/ Where is Buddha now?

 

38/ Did Buddha transform or look different when he found out the truth?

 

39/ Why would Buddha leave his wife and baby son?

 

40/ I was just wondering if Siddhartha is similar to Jesus? And is Buddha similar to God?

 

41/ Why did Buddha decide to go on the path to enlightenment?

 

42/ Why did he meditate under a special tree?

 

Do you think Buddhism will still exist in 10,000 years?

 

43/ Does the Buddha know a lot of languages?

 

44/ What age did Buddha die?

 

45/ Did Buddha get to go to school?

 

***

 

46/ This question refers to Andrew’s analogy of the window covered in dirt. The window should be perceived as neither clean nor dirty instead it should be seen as just the window. In the same way should we use this principle with the concepts of beauty and ugliness which are qualities created by people. The same can be said with good and evil. How do we determine these qualities and how can we apply the principle of the window being a window to people.

 

***

47/ Are we actually going to go canoeing?

48/ For Thay Thong Phap, "Why don't I look Asian?"

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