Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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MatthewAngby
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:51 am

Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by MatthewAngby » Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:26 pm

Hello. I am from a chinese Buddhist family and many a time , they seem to enforce rather what I would THINK to be Chinese cultures on me, which i grew restless to it.

1: in chinese culture ( afaik) Some say you can’t eat beef if you pray to Kwan yin ( I think ) or you can’t eat beef in ur home if u have a Kwan yin statue in ur home afaik. This seems to be chinese culture don’t you think? Some say that cows have worked so much for human welfare, yet we kill it in the end. But chickens have been cows too, why are we so fixated on its current form?

2: after death of a relative, you can’t go visit someone else house for 49 days , also you can’t visit someone else home for Chinese New Year the following year because you bring “bad” energy. What are your views ?

Ok now for the other questions not relating to chinese culture.

3: What is your view on drinking Alcohol safely ( that means controlling oneself such that one does not get drunk )

4: What is your view on using magic , runes and talismans to help people ( using self-power and not from gods,demons or ghosts ) in order to help people? Are they wrong because they are “defiled” ways?

5: This is controversial but what is the Buddhist ( not tainted by any culture ) view on meat eating. For me, it is like eating something with flesh and bone which a being has once possessed and left the body to die.

markatex
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by markatex » Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:08 pm

There’s a lot of overlap and it’s probably very difficult, if not impossible, to tease apart what is Buddhism and what is Chinese culture.

The 49 days thing is rooted in Buddhism. It has something to do with the bardos, I think. The body of the deceased is supposed to be undisturbed and prayers said every day to ensure a good rebirth. I’m fuzzy on the details. The bad energy and not visiting other people stuff sounds like superstition, though.

As far as meat-eating...it is not prohibited in Theravada, but it is in Mahayana. Most Mahayana Buddhists still eat meat anyway and there are various ways to justify it.

Divination and amulets sound like hokum to most, but I find them useful, personally.

MatthewAngby
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Re: Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by MatthewAngby » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:52 pm

markatex wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 1:08 pm
There’s a lot of overlap and it’s probably very difficult, if not impossible, to tease apart what is Buddhism and what is Chinese culture.

The 49 days thing is rooted in Buddhism. It has something to do with the bardos, I think. The body of the deceased is supposed to be undisturbed and prayers said every day to ensure a good rebirth. I’m fuzzy on the details. The bad energy and not visiting other people stuff sounds like superstition, though.

As far as meat-eating...it is not prohibited in Theravada, but it is in Mahayana. Most Mahayana Buddhists still eat meat anyway and there are various ways to justify it.

Divination and amulets sound like hokum to most, but I find them useful, personally.
Meat eating is prohibited in Mahayana? Why is that? Is it because of chinese culture? Or am I missing something out?

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Queequeg
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Re: Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by Queequeg » Fri Apr 06, 2018 4:17 pm

MatthewAngby wrote:
Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:52 pm
Meat eating is prohibited in Mahayana? Why is that? Is it because of chinese culture? Or am I missing something out?
NO. This will not be discussed here. Please see this thread: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=213
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

markatex
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Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:33 am

Re: Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by markatex » Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:02 am

Oh, I didn’t realize it was a restricted topic, though I understand why it would be. It’s not something I particularly care about discussing or debating anyway.

tingdzin
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Re: Chinese culture and Buddhism and more

Post by tingdzin » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:05 pm

#2 May have a basis in Buddhism, but such a belief/ custom is present in no other Buddhist cultures I have seen. It may also be in part due to Confucian beliefs on honoring ancestors.

#3 A lot of Buddhists (including myself) drink in moderation. If you have the good fortune to be a full-time Buddhist practitioner, you might well choose to avoid it.

#4 Most Buddhists would consider these to be "skillful means", and useful from a provisional point of view, as long as they are kept separate from outright deceit, profiteering, etc.

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