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Buddhists/Application of Buddhist philosophy

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Question
Good day Mr. Choo,

My name is Melissa, and I am a student at a United States high school, near Boston. As part of my Eastern Philosophy class, I have been asked to briefly interview individuals who study or practice an Eastern religion, to enhance my understanding of the belief setís philosophical composure and actual application. If it is possible, I would very much appreciate any answers which you can provide to the following questions.
1.   Are there teachings of Buddhism which you consider to be more highly prioritized than others?
2.   How do you personally integrate Buddhist tradition in your life?
3.   Which Buddhist concepts are most difficult for a person to practice?
4.   Are there any teachings of Buddhism which contradict each other? In those cases, how does one determine which to follow?
5.   Are there any components of Buddhist philosophy which you personally object to?

Thank you for your time,
Melissa F.

Answer
Hi Melissa,

1. Are there teachings of Buddhism which you consider to be more highly prioritized than others?
 Know oneself and take steps to reduce one's evil roots of greed and hatred.


2. How do you personally integrate Buddhist tradition in your life?
Buddhism is about how to live in peace with oneself.  Buddhist "traditions" are mainly the traditions of the different cultures of the peoples who practise Buddhism.  So in a way, it is always people integrating their traditions with Buddhist teachings.


3. Which Buddhist concepts are most difficult for a person to practice?
It depends on the invidual.  Just like food, some may like certain types and not the others.  If one truly understands Buddhism, there is nothing too difficult.  

4. Are there any teachings of Buddhism which contradict each other? In those cases, how does one determine which to follow?
Buddhist teachings are based on universal truths which have no contradiction.  Even if there is, then we use our common sense and human intelligence to analyze without having to depend on any holy book or any religious teacher.

5. Are there any components of Buddhist philosophy which you personally object to?
Buddhism like all other "religions" has more than one tradition or school.  This inevitably results in different interpretations of the Buddha's teachings.  Fortunately the fundamental teachings of the Buddha are accepted by all the different traditions.  So the practise is that one doesn't need to object, but to follow the tradition that one agrees with.  

Hopes this helps.

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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