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Do We Rejoice Over All Kinds Of Happiness?

Feb. 12 | Question: If one cheats us, we should see this as the ripening of our negative karma and not get upset. Beyond this, if the cheat is happy for his gain, should we also rejoice for him?  Answer: The practice of rejoicing should never be for anyone’s...

Does Buddhism Promote Medium Practice?

Jan. 29 | Question: A medium said a friend’s problems from seeing of ghosts is because he is chosen by Guanyin Bodhisattva to ‘work’ – I guess to help spread the Dharma? Is there such a practice? Answer: No, there is no such practice in...

Can Animal Experimentation Be Alright?

Jan. 23 | Question: If one’s job uses sentient beings such as animals for research to find cures for human diseases, this creates negative karma due to the animals’ imprisonment, torturous experimentation and death. However, if there is no research done,...

How Should Buddhist Images Be Worn?

Jan. 16 | Question: Is it alright to wear images, names and mantras of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas on clothes, socks, shoes and such? Answer: it is best not to wear prominent Buddhist imagery in the above ways, as we are far from holy, thus possibly tarnishing the...

Can I Offer Dead Animals To The Buddhas?

Jan. 8 | Question: Is it alright to offer food with meat to the Buddha?  Answer: It is not a good idea to offer any dead sentient being to any Buddha, as each Buddha loves each sentient being like an only child, such that he would never wish anyone to have...

Can We Take Refuge On Behalf Of The Deceased?

Jan. 1 | Question: Can we take the Threefold Refuge and receive the Five Precepts on behalf of deceased loved ones? Answer: While going through the above ceremonies, we can think of ourselves as doing so with departed loved ones (or even all beings). However,...

Does The Donor Or Deceased Gain Merits From Post-Death Donations?

Dec. 26 | Question: Who benefits from the merit-making when a donation is made to the temple which accommodates the deceased’s niche – the donor or the deceased? Answer: If the donor has no intention to benefit anyone else, all the merits go to the donor. If...

Is It Bad Karma To Report Inconsiderate Parking?

Dec. 19 | Question: When I see inconsiderate drivers parking at lots reserved for the handicapped, I consider reporting their cars. If they get fined, will I have negative karma? Answer: If you will create negative karma for doing so, all parking attendants will...

What Does ‘Tathāgata’ Mean?

Dec. 12 | Question: What is the meaning of ‘Tathāgata’? Answer: ‘Tathāgata’ is Sanskrit for ‘Thus Come One’ (如来), which means ‘as if came; also as if gone’. This is an alternative term for addressing Buddhas....

Can Accidental Mention Of Death Cause Actual Death?

Dec. 4 | Question: There was accidental declaration of an informant of a death as the deceased. A family member of the informant is now worried that unfortunate things might happen. What can be done?  Answer: You should get the one who made the mistake to...

Should We Offer Food Even Long After Departure?

Nov. 27 | Question: When offering food during Qingming season and such, many will say aloud – ‘May so-and-so to come and eat.’ Is this right?  Answer: There is no need to call anyone by name. Simply offering the food with the clear intention along...

How To Handle Workplace Non-Listeners

Nov. 19 | Question: How do I handle a slightly senior co-worker, who is not exactly my superior, but tells other colleagues that I will do this and that. When I do not handle the ‘promised’, she tells them that I am calculative. Yet, if I do, it...

How To Handle Someone In A Rush?

Nov. 8 | Question: I was sick at at a clinic. There was a patient there who complained that she had wasted time waiting for an hour, asking if the next in line can let her go first, so that she can go home to take care of her child. Everyone remained silent....

How Should Buddhists View Politics?

Nov. 1 | Question: What is the Buddhist view of politics? When there is social injustice due to politics, how should Buddhists approach it as concerned citizens? Answer: The Buddha personally, after renouncing his royal status, also renounced all political...

Are Cordyceps Considered Vegetarian?

Oct. 25 | Question: Are cordyceps considered vegetarian? Answer: There are cordyceps that are grown out of the bodies of caterpillars, usually sold retaining the form of caterpillars. As the definition of what is ‘vegetarian’ is that it must be free...
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