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Should I Report A ‘Minor’ Wrong Or Not?

Apr. 19 | Question: I saw a bus driver using his phone while driving. If I were to report him, he may lose his job, but if I kept quiet, it might cause a future accident that harms the commuters. It seems like a ‘minor’ wrong, but it could lead to...

How Are Vows & Precepts Related?

Apr. 8 | Question: What is the significance of taking vows in Buddhism? Answer: There are several kinds of vows for Buddhists. Taking refuge in the Triple Gem is one kind. Committing to the Five Precepts is another, as is to the Eight Precepts, Bodhisattva Precepts...

How Should Dharma Teachers Protect Dharma Students?

Mar. 28 | Without names, so that timeless lessons can be universally learnt, the below is based on an actual incident. Case There was a public Dharma talk with many misconceptions shared. A teacher, having taken the reasonably calculated risk of recommending...

Should Buddhists Be Bothered By Numbers?

Mar. 22 | Question: As a Buddhist, should I be bothered by my house number? Is it right to believe in numerology? I have read a lot about it and it is affecting my thinking. Answer: The Buddha banned monastics and even lay training Bodhisattvas from fortune-telling...

Is He A True Buddhist ‘Teacher’?

Mar. 15 | Question: A friend asked a layperson to help ‘clear’ her workplace of suspected spirits by chanting, and it seemed to have effect as there were less accidents and quarrels after. She also brought her kids to him for blessing. He said one...

Is There A Proper Way To Prostrate?

Mar. 1 | Question: I saw an elderly woman scolding a younger woman in a Buddhist temple for not prostrating properly, insisting that she must follow the proper way or she might ‘go to hell’! She was taken aback, trying to explain that she believes...

Why Eat Plants As They Have Life Too?

Feb. 22 | Question: When chatting with meat-eating friends regarding myself going vegan, they say vegetables have life too. How should I reply? Answer: You can reply that plants do indeed have life, but not sentient life (with feelings, emotions, reasoning)....

Where Did God Come From?

Feb. 16 | Question: I was chatting with a friend when she asked, ‘If there is no God, where do we come from?’ How should I answer? Answer: For the Buddhist perspective, you can answer in this way – ‘If we came from a God, where did that God...

How To Help An Angry Family Member?

Feb. 8 |   The following can be read as the ‘victim of anger’ or ‘victimiser with anger’ for self-reflection. Question: I have a family member who is polite to others but vents his anger at home, to the extent of hurling things. Though...

Am I Creating Positive Or Negative Karma?

Feb. 1 | Question: I am a nutritionist who educates on healthy eating through talks and cooking demonstrations. As the company I work in produces animal-based foods, I am tasked to promote their benefits too. Does my job create positive or negative karma, as...

How To Relate To Fengshui & Bazi?

Jan. 25 | Question: How should we relate fengshui (Chinese geomancy)? Eg. ideas like how the bed should not face the toilet door? Answer Some fengshui principles are just common sense. Eg. Of course the bed should avoid facing a toilet, as there will be dampness...

Can I Eat Vegan Food Mixed With Non-Vegan Food?

Jan. 18 | Question: As I wish to commit spiritually to the vegan diet, is it okay to eat vegan food that is cooked or mixed with non-vegan food? Answer: Buddhists do not see spiritual defilements to be incurred merely by taste; but by whether there is consumption...

How Should Buddhists View Astrology?

Jan. 13 | Question: How should we view online circulated advice from some fortune-telling masters, about the fortune of those of different zodiac signs in the coming new year, about what best colour to wear and such? Is such advice authentic, or should we read...

How To Help One Who ‘Lets Go’ Too Much?

Jan. 5 | Question: Letting go of attachment is good, but I am disturbed by how a family member developed the habit of throwing away things, which include family items in a brutal and self-righteous way. Surely this is not how Buddhism teaches letting go? The...

How To Help Resolve Family Conflicts?

Dec. 28 | Question: I feel fear and sadness whenever there are messages and calls from a sibling and other family members – as there are quarrels between them. I tried to help, but feel totally drained, with the outcome often in vain. What can I do to manage...