A. The act of offering bows and praying in temples and shrines may appear to be misleading. However, the Buddha statues kept in shrines are not objects of worship but artefacts in honour of the historical Buddha, just like the Lincoln statue in the Lincoln Memorial.
Buddhism is not a religion that leads people to worship and pray to the Buddha for happiness but a religion to help them to realise that everything, including themselves, is the Buddha. It is not a religion that makes its followers the slaves of the Buddha but a religion that makes them aware that there is nothing to worship and pray to. To create an image of the Buddha in the air and hold an invisible string tightly to prevent it from flying away is not Buddhism but a type of superstition, or idolatry that is primitive religion. As long as people are infatuated with the image of the Buddha in this way, they are not Buddhist in the true sense.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway
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