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How To Convince Karma Exists?

Jan. 17 | Question: How do I convince someone that there is the cause and effect of karma?  Answer: This is a question you can ask… If he/she does not believe in cause and effect, why does he/she not rob in broad daylight? Obviously, this is because...

How To Reply To Claims That I Am Hellbound?

Dec. 28 | Question: I am a learning and practising Buddhist. During a discussion with a family member of another faith that believes in a creator god who damns all non-believers to hell, he said I am the devil in the family bound for hell. How should I respond? Answer: You...

How Does Buddhism Differ From Taoism?

Dec. 21 | Question: How is Buddhism different from Taoism? Answer: The differences are many. From the Buddhist perspective, let us see some in terms of refuge in the Triple Gem (of Buddhas, Dharma and Sangha). [1] Buddhas: Taoism’s supreme ones gone to...

Is Eating Vegan Meritorious?

Dec. 13 | Question: Why is eating vegan food meritorious? Answer: To be exact, eating by itself, of any food, is not exactly meritorious. It is the active choice of compassionate food in the first place, before consumption, that does not in/directly demand...

Can One Suffer Due To Others’ Mistakes?

Dec. 7 | Question: Can someone in a family suffer due to the mistakes of another in the family? Answer: Conventionally speaking, this is possible. For example, parents often suffer due to their children’s reluctance to heed their good advice, while children...

Which Buddha Should We Pay Homage To?

Nov. 29 | Question: Some ‘Buddhists’ have strong objection to the chanting of ‘(Namo) Amituofo’ (南无阿弥陀佛: [Homage to and refuge in life in] Amitabha Buddha), for personal practice, and even as a greeting. (This seems to be...

How Best To Express Filial Piety?

Nov. 10 | Question: In Buddhism, what are the best ways to express filial piety to our parents? Answer: Beyond the usual ways of taking physical care of them, in terms of offering enough clothing, food, shelter and such, which are worldly in nature and thus still...

Is It Possible To Fire With Compassion?

Oct. 31 | Question: As I hired an incompetent domestic helper via an incompetent agent, I technically fired the helper. But the agent asked for some holding on to the helper in name first, to facilitate her transfer without incurring more cost for both the agent...

Why Merits Can Only Be Partially Dedicated?

Oct. 18 | Question: Why is it that when there is chanting or doing good in the name of another, that the person can only receive one-seventh of the merits, while six-sevenths are received by the chanters or practitioners? Answer: This is a natural law, as realised...

Is A Meat-Buyer Also A ‘Meat-Eater’?

Oct. 11 | Question: When I dine with my family in the same restaurant, I will be having vegan food while they have meat dishes. As I pay for all, am I considered to have ‘eaten’ meat?  Answer: This is not considered (killing or) eating meat, but it...

Should Buddhists Play Matchmakers?

Sep. 13 | Question: Is it alright to matchmake good friends who are good in character? Answer: It does not accord with a Bodhisattva Precept in the Brahma Net Sutra to do matchmaking – as it facilitates the perpetuation of Samsara by encouraging attachment....

Should I Help Pay For Non-Vegan Food?

Sep. 6 | Question: I am a vegetarian and an aspiring vegan. As my workplace offers discount in an attached restaurant, friends like to visit to have meals with me, to also benefit from the staff discount I can get. However, they usually order meat dishes. I try...

How Did Dharma Ceremonies Originate?

Aug. 30 | Question: Were there Dharma ceremonies (法会) in the Buddha’s time? If not, how did they arise? Answer: The original meaning of Dharma ceremonies is more accurately ‘Dharma assemblies’ – where people assemble to learn the Dharma....

How To See Emptiness Of Forms?

Aug. 18 | Question: How do I practise to see emptiness, to depart from forms? I have tried asking myself where is the self-nature of phenomena (which does not exist), so as to not take them too seriously, and reminding myself that my self-nature (Buddha-nature)...

Can Precepts Really Be Broken Virtually?

Aug. 9 | Question: Does killing someone and stealing something in a computer game create any negative karma? Answer: The answer is not so straightforward. Despite the virtual nature of these deeds, it is to the extent that there is intention to actually kill,...