10 Weird Facts About Buddhism

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In Western culture we love to hate or point out all the weird things about Christianity, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Bill Maher have made life-long careers pointing out the contradictions and absurdities of Christianity. But being from the west, we usually don’t pick on Buddhism. Over the years I’ve read a bunch of books on Buddhism and found several weird beliefs they hold. Buddhism goes way beyond just having a ‘zen feeling’ The Dalai Lama looking old and cute, or the fat Buddai statues at Chinese Restaurants.

I want to say, I do not hate Buddhism, I have found reading Buddhist scriptures very helpful, but here are some weird things I found.

1. The fat Buddhist guy at every Chinese Restaurant that people put money on is not the original Buddha (Siddharta Gautama), his name is Buddai. Buddai was a weird zen monk that lived in China in the 900s. He carried a stick with a bag on it and was in general pretty weird. The Chinese Buddhists, not all Buddhists, thought he had reached enlightenment. Buddai is famous for saying,  “What is the meaning of Zen?” Budai drops his bag. “How does one realize Zen?” he continues. Budai then takes up his bag and continues on his way.” I assume that means getting a Linkdin account and filling it full of your great accomplishments and checking @connect on twitter 20 times a day.

then takes up his bag and continues on his way.” I assume that means getting a Linkdin account and filling it full of your great accomplishments and checking @connect on twitter 20 times a day.

2. The Dalai Lama is not the pope of Buddhists, only Tibetans love him. Tibet previous to Chinese Communism had a super weird political system. In the west we argue about democracy vs. dictatorship vs. aristocracy. But in Tibet, the story was completely different. In the 1500s Mongols made a Tibetan monk president, and then instead of having elections or doing a bloodline thing, they decided to find the reincarnated version of the last president. A monk that has magical powers from not eating meat has a mystical dream, then tells the head monks where to look for the reincarnated version of the last president.  The current Dalai Lama is the 14th reincarnated version of this president. And that is how Tibet picked all of its religious leaders for the last 500 years. It would be like if we tried to find the reincarnated versions of the original people who wrote the constitution?

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