Bible, Buddha, Buddhism, God, Meditation, Practice, Prayer, Religion, Zen

Q136. What do you think of praying to God or Buddha?

A. We can see a lot of people not only pray to them but also offer plenty of money to temples or churches as a token of their faith in Buddha or God, while ignoring many suffering people who are in need. People want to make a deal with God or Buddha, just like they may bribe public officials to do something they want to be done. In brief, they take advantage of their prayer to Buddha or God as a means to satisfy and justify their greed and hypocrisy.

It is said that God or Buddha is love itself, compassion itself and justice itself and that he is so almighty that he can fulfill our prayers. Why are so many starving in the world and why do endless wars break out and disasters befall people at this time while so many clergymen, priests and monks are praying all around the world? Why does a charitable God who says, “Love your neighbour as yourself” always seem to side with rich, strong countries or people? Why have so many countries been engaged in wars throughout history in the name of religion?

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I don’t think that prayer itself is bad. However, why do these things happen in spite of so much prayer by so many people around the world? It is because they don’t know whom they pray to or worship because they don’t know themselves and therefore they do not know who is praying. They also don’t know how to worship or pray because they don’t know whom they worship or pray to. Therefore, they commit brutal carnage while speaking of Jesus’s love with their mouths, and spend an untold sum of money on producing weapons while saying their prayers.

I never discourage you from praying, but encourage you to pray in the right way. In order to pray in the right way, you should know at least who prays to whom. When you don’t know this, trying to find out who prays to whom it is a true prayer.

©Boo Ahm

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway

Buddha, Buddhism, Meditation, Zen

Q33. When I go to temple, I feel protected while praying there, by something or someone and feel more comfortable in a temple than at home. Is my going to temple wrong?

A. If you feel as you mentioned in your question without knowing what you are, or what the Buddha is, it shows that you are addicted to the illusion of the Buddha. That is, you are enslaved by the illusion of the Buddha.

I never discourage you from doing anything but encourage you to ask yourself what it is that makes your body do what you do whatever you do, whether going to temple or going to church. Why do you go to the temple? If you go to temple to pray to the Buddha, you should know at least two things: What you are and what the Buddha is. Not knowing what you are, how can you say that you pray while not knowing who prays? Not knowing what the Buddha is, how can you pray to the Buddha? You should know that a temple is not a place for praying to the Buddha, but a place for realising what you are when your body is not you.

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When freed from the illusions of all things including the Buddha, you can realise what you are when your body is not you. Supposing you pray while not knowing the object of your worship; what is the difference between you and the primitive people who prayed to a huge tree, or a gigantic rock and the sun, or the moon?

All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway.