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Buddhists/Buddhism; Pursuit of Peace

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Question
1.   Does society have a major effect on the way Buddhists practice their beliefs?
2.   Does Buddhism require you to do a certain number of good things? E.g. Hindu’s are required to offer one-tenth of their gross income as God's money, to temples, ashrams and spiritual organizations. They approach the temple with offerings, visit gurus with gifts in hand, donate religious literature, feed and give to those in need. They bestow their time and talents without seeking praise.
3.   Do you believe that when someone pursues peace, they should pursuit peace within themselves or try to pursuit peace by actions unto others?
4.   Are there any particularly negative stereotypes of Buddhists that you know of?
5.   How does Buddhism incorporate itself into society? E.g. Christianity/Catholicism aims to ‘spread the good news’.
6.   Do the core beliefs and practices of Buddhism have an effect on the pursuing of peace in society?

Answer
Hi Andrew,

1. Does society have a major effect on the way Buddhists practice their beliefs?
This is too general a question.  Each society has its peculiar customs and traditions. Buddhism being a very liberal and tolerant religion, has been able to coexist with customs and traditions.  That's why we have the various Buddhist traditions like Tibetan, Japanese, and Chinese Buddhism.

2. Does Buddhism require you to do a certain number of good things? E.g. Hindu’s are required to offer one-tenth of their gross income as God's money, to temples, ashrams and spiritual organizations. They approach the temple with offerings, visit gurus with gifts in hand, donate religious literature, feed and give to those in need. They bestow their time and talents without seeking praise.

Buddhism in its pristine form is about cultivating the mind to realize the true nature of existence, and to experience inner peace.  With passage of time, followers incorporated their traditional practices and customs with Buddhism. So now of course we have temples, and rites and rituals of the respective Buddhist traditions or schools. Followers do give donations and their time participating in temple activities.

3. Do you believe that when someone pursues peace, they should pursuit peace within themselves or try to pursuit peace by actions unto others?
Both.  And the Golden Rule applies : Do not do to others that you don't wish done to yourself.

4. Are there any particularly negative stereotypes of Buddhists that you know of?
Every religion will have this problem.  

5. How does Buddhism incorporate itself into society? E.g. Christianity/Catholicism aims to ‘spread the good news’.
The message of Buddhism is very clear.  Peaceful living, compassion for others, living a harmless life.  Actions speaks louder than words.  We don't have to spread the good news.  The good news will spread by itself through the conduct of our lives.  

6. Do the core beliefs and practices of Buddhism have an effect on the pursuing of peace in society?
Yes.  Buddhism emphasizes on harmless living and compassion for others.  What other philosophies can be greater than this in pursuing peace?

Regards,
Justin Choo

Buddhists

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Justin Choo

Expertise

All your questions will be answered, and you may not have to agree with the answers. Such is the beauty of Buddhism. I follow the Theravada tradition, and have been studying Buddhism for more than 50 years. As I am not a Buddhist scholar, I answer in simple language, and I prefer answering general questions rather than textual.

Experience

I was brought up in the 50's as a Buddhist. For the past 50 years I have read numerous books on Buddhism and listened to numerous talks on Buddhism by well-respected and learned monks and lay teachers. I have conducted Buddhist classes for parents of Sunday School children in a Theravada Buddhist Temple. My teacher was the late Chief Reverend, The Ven. K Sri Dhammananda of The Brickfields Buddhist Mahavihara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You can view the relevant website in memory of my revered late teacher @ http://www.ksridhammananda.com and my blog posting at http://blackandwhite999.blogspot.com/2008/08/my-revered-teacher.html

Organizations
I am a life member of the Buddhist Missionary Society Malaysia.

Publications
YOU ARE INVITED TO VISIT MY BLOG @ http://lifeislikethat999.blogspot.com/ Published a book called "The Rainbow And The Treasure". It is a compilation of extracts from various sources to introduce Buddhism to beginners. (Currently out of print)

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Commerce And Administration, Victoria University Of Wellington, NZ.(1974)

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