… sure, I’ve been thrasing Buddhism … sort of

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Well, frankly just stating some facts (and risking the possibility of being struck by lightning)!
But seriously, I’m thinking: there’s a reason why one has to have absolute faith in a faith. 
ya know’? 
just sayin’

So, the question that arises in a lot of people’s mind is: Am I a Buddhist?
Rather timely as well given that Vesak is just hours away. I personally think, many people declare themselves to be ‘Buddhists’, especially in the Malaysian context without really knowing what being Buddhists really is or Buddhism for that matter.

As a child, my Muslim teachers conveniently assigned the “Agama Buddha” label on me, purely because I am a Chinese and she or he knows no better of the existence of alternatives such as Daoism.

Interestingly the Malaysian government decided I was “Kristian” some years later.

Today, I fill free-flow forms up with “Global Citizen” for Nationality and “Atheist” for Religion.
I’m thinking “Asexual” soon … for kicks!

Upon reflection, I’ve come up with these definitions of Buddhist and since they all tickle my fancy (of course given that it was cooked up by pour moi! duuuuuuuHHHH) I remain an ‘atheist’.

The Vesak Buddhist

Yes. Once a year, these Buddhist throngs and chocks temples and Buddhist Associations, bringing along with them flowers, incense, candles, wads of cash in exchange for droplets of blessed holy water, an ocher string, free overcooked vegetarian food, mumblings over their personal jade, bronze, silver, gold amulets and talismans, and making supplication to the Buddha.

The I NEED HELP NOW!!! Buddhist

They appear in times of trouble, problems and conflicts. They are interested in immediate divine intervention for a myriad of problems ranging from health, business, career, relationship, academic studies, lottery numbers … you name in. Extremely focus in their need, they are time misers who have no need for Dhamma. 

The Social {occasionally known as Networking} Buddhist

Particularly active during fun activities, these Buddhist are sure to be in the committee of the Buddhist Fellowship, leading excursions, tours, camps and other recreational activities, regardless of objective and agenda. Whilst some may just be having fun, others are on the look out for potential life partners!, or worse are those with hidden business and political agenda of their own.

The Ceremonial Buddhist

Floating along with the crowd, clad from head to toe in white, these ceremonial Buddhist are caught up in ensuring that they are in sync with the movement required of every imaginable devotional rites, rituals and ceremonies, giving rise to an appearance of almost like a sea of synchronized swimmers, dazed by burning incense. Concerned about being judged and perceived to be of a lesser Buddhist if the rites and rituals are not executed well, the Ceremonial Buddhist spends all his or her time in getting the form right without understanding the substance. Unlike the Vesak Buddhist, the Ceremonial Buddhist is seen on every religious date on the Buddhist calendar. 

The Cult-ish Buddhist

Exclusively for the rich and famous, these Buddhist are usually filled with delusion, ego and conceit, believing that their label of Buddhism is holier. Hence, much money and time is spent ‘chasing’ and ‘bringing’ high profile monks for private Dhamma and Dana session, and in ‘intellectual discourse’ over finer Dhamma points, guided by their ‘enlightened leaders or teachers’ a.k.a fund raisers!

The Burning Buddhist

One of the most common, well, the BURN just about everything: incense, prayer paper, paper based reigious paraphernalia in temples, associations, by the roadside, flowing river, hillside … basically let’s drive all that’s ‘evil’ with some pow-wow combustion energy.

The Deity Buddhist
The more the merrier! is this brand of Buddhists’ mantra.

With images and idols scattered all over their homes, some to the extend of having elaborate prayer rooms with large shrines and alter, these Buddhist believes that by removing the many protection and security, misfortune will strike.

The Learned Ones …

In the effort to separate themselves from those above, the ‘intellectual Buddhist’ devour one Dhamma book after another and purify their souls and body with only Dhamma tapes and chants. Obsessed with knowledge accumulation and the noble deed of spreading the Bodhisattva’s words and wisdom, many are left with little time for Dhamma actualisation, carrying on with their old traits and habits.

The Preach-y Buddhist

Ahhh… perhaps the worst of the group, they love their voice! Talking, persuading, commanding, they project themselves as the ‘know-it-all, been-there-done-that’. But most irritating would be, as the Buddha once said: “Others faults are easy to see … (but one’s own faults one hides like a Fowler in disguise.)”
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Happy Vesak Day!
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7 thoughts on “… sure, I’ve been thrasing Buddhism … sort of

  1. @ AndySearching Andy searching… kindda like the magic in Kagyu. The 'dirt' makes it contemporary too! :p@KCWhat's a sofa-table? Kinky!!! lol@ktxHey, am thinking of going to see the 17th Karmapa later in the year. Since it's a walking distance from dear honourable Dalai Lama, you can see your guy and I'll see my dude. How about that?

  2. Babe, Happy Vesak!For a non-Buddhist you have gone on more pilgrimage than any Buddhist and 'Buddhist' I know.:)I'm probably the once a year and occasional I NEED HELP NOW!!! Buddhist.:p

  3. Agreed bro! It's a way of life. philosophy really. But there is GOD (a larger being) in Buddhism – no? Just not defined like 'Father', 'Allah', kindda thingy – I think.I sure don't fall under the Preachy or Learned Buddhist lah.As for being strike by lightning – let's not double the chances by standing beside one another. lolSo here's a BIG shout out: WELCOME BACK!!!BTW,Daoism isn't a religion either.

  4. so, u tell me now. which category as defined by you, do i belong to?lol.hey, if u look at it carefully, buddhists r related to atheist too u know? it's a subset kinda thing. buddhism is not a religion nor it recognizes The god. (wonder if the lighning will strikes me, mou leh?)

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