Saturday, 26 July 2014

MY RELIGION: I'M A BUDDHIST...

A new series looking at different religions and belief systems… reader Laura talks about what it's like to be Buddhist!

Laura says:
I have been a Buddhist for two years - ever since I found out about the religion! I wanted to follow because I like the ethics of no killing any creature; and as I found out more and more about the religion, I realised it was perfect for me. I wasn't born into a Buddhist family, as you may have guessed, but my mum and dad have been really good about me converting. They even put 'Buddhist' down as my religion on my school papers! My friends have also been really supportive - one of them actually bought me the two little Buddhas on either side of my shrine.

I follow the teachings to the best of my ability, but I am not super-religious! I do lie sometimes - doesn't everyone? - but I also respect my religion very much. I can't go to a temple to pray as there are none close to where I live, but I do try to celebrate most of the festivals and events. On the festival of Wesak, I set off some paper lanterns from a hill nearby, which was amazing - well, actually, I did it the night after Wesak, as it was raining on the actual date! Releasing the lanterns symbolised letting go of our sins and spreading love around the world. It started raining again after a while, and I did wonder whether some of our local farmers were confused at the sight of those lanterns!

I have a shrine to the Buddha with three small Buddha statues, some flowers, some elephant statues and a burnt candle. I'm not allowed to light candles or joss sticks in my room (probably for the best as my shrine is right above my bed and my very flammable bedsheets!) so I light a candle downstairs, blow it out and bring it up. It's lit in spirit! Every night I set aside fifteen minutes to do some quiet thinking, my way of meditating. I don't believe in pushing all thoughts out of my head - our thoughts make us who we are - so I think positive thoughts instead. It really helps me to feel happier and gets my life into perspective!
Cathy says:
Wow… I love Laura's determination to follow Buddhism to the best of her ability… and it really does seem to be giving her a kind of peace and perspective in her life! Do YOU follow a particular religion? COMMENT BELOW to share your thoughts on Laura's choice or to tell us about your own beliefs! 
(Note on the series: you may have very different views, but PLEASE respect the beliefs of others in your comments!)

13 comments:

  1. Hi Laura!
    I learnt all about Buddhism in Year 2, so I was only 7 years old, but I remember everything about it! I really love Buddhism - although I'm not religious. I think if anyone were to take up a religon, Buddhism would be the best. I do sometimes meditate, but not about gods and stuff, just to make me more calm and happy.
    I can safely say that I won't take up Buddhism, as I don't believe in the gods/Buddha.
    Buddhism is a great religion, I think, because it's so peaceful and it doesn't war over other religions.
    Emily xxx

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  2. I am a Christian. I love my religion and was born into it, so it was only natural I would follow it. I love the freedom of Christianity, and the fact that no matter what you do God still loves you. I know some people don't believe in God, or anything at all, and I respect that. Its a very free religion, but as a Christian I try to follow the 10 commandments (very hard sometimes!) And help others, as jesus did, but if I do wrong then I ask for forgiveness. At this moment I am at a massive christian camp called Faith Camp, to which thousands of people go, and it is such a great week! I make new friends, meet old ones and have fun while meeting with god; I love it! The youth groups are fantastic too, so fun and crazy!

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  3. I am Roman Catholic and proud of it!!!!!! Recently I made my Confirmation which is a special mass with the confirming at the end. In Confirmation, we grow up as christians and start being responsible for our practice. We receive the holy spirit which helps us to do so. Confirmation is very special, you only receive it once so it has to be perfect. At the end of the ceremony we are very holy, and we parade around the church and go in the back door ( this would work if the door was open!!! ) It is a very special day and everyone enjoys it!!! Emma :)

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  4. cool! i'm roman catholic and i usually go to mass every sunday! i pray every night before i go to sleep. i love that god is so nice to us even when we sin and i always try my best to please him! i know a girl she's 17 she went to my school and her dad is irish like everyone else and her mammy is from london and she is church of england like a lot of u guys!

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  5. Not to rain on Laura's parade - as I really admire her morals and determination to follow the religion - but those are statues of Ho-tei, the Laughing God (Japanese lore, I believe), not Buddha. As Buddha fasted under a tree and was a great teacher of the wickedness of material possessions, I doubt he'd be on the large side. :-)

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    1. Can't comment on the two standing statues, but I know that in China, Buddha has been traditionally depicted as very much on the large side… a Chinese 'plump' Buddha statue may have more to say about Chinese tradition than the life of the actual Buddha, but that's how they see him! In other countries, like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma, Buddha is indeed shown as slim. I love the sound of a laughing god, though!

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    2. Interesting to know. I'm familiar with slim Buddha statues, my RMPS teacher had one on his desk. A laughing god is a good idea, with all the angry vengeful gods about. Look at how happy Ho-tei is! I'd trust him to lead a religion. I have a feeling it would be based on random acts of kindness. Sounds like something you'd be interested in, Cathy. :-)

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  6. I'm Buddhist too and I love the religion.

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  7. Although not a fully practicing Buddhist, I have tried to follow the teachings as best I can. I have a Buddha statue beside my bed and incorporate meditation into my daily yoga routine. I am not from a Buddhist family but after learning about the religion, it just seemed to fit me perfectly. I enjoy the friendliness and peacefulness of Buddhism and feel it has really helped me over the past few years and allowed me to learn things about myself.

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  8. My religion is Islam. Despite what may or not be going around the world, Islam is a religion of peace, love, compassion and happiness. We pray 5 times a day and in this month(Ramadan) we fast for God. At the end of Ramadan, we celebrate Eid to end the hardships we went through with ease. In Islam believe in 1 God. Islam educates Muslims on this life and the next. I love Islam with all my heart.

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    1. I'm a muslim too! But we also fast to remind ourselves what the less fortunate people in the world r feeling.Hamdi:)xxx

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  9. I believe in the Greek gods/goddesses (Zeus, Athena, Poseidon etc) :D xxx

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  10. I am a roman catholic!!!!!!!! in our religion we get baptized, make our confessions to god, Holy Communion and Confirmation. I am quite religious and go to mass every Sunday and I pray every night before bed. I love being catholic

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