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Buddha: Evil Spirit Repository

A reader wrote:

I’ve been studying Buddhism and meditating.  A Christian friend (7th-Day Adventist) told me that quoting Buddha on Facebook is evil because he has a hole in his back that they put evil spirits into.  Has anyone else ever heard this ridiculous belief?  I just don’t know how to respond to her because I’m new to all of this, and I don’t want to offend her.  I didn’t answer her at all.  Maybe that’s best anyway.

My Response:

Wow. That’s a new one to me. Never heard that before.

It’s got the ring of truth to it, so I wouldn’t say there’s absolutely nothing to it. I suspect there’s probably some group out there that has some tradition or ceremony where they write down their troubles on a note and drop them into a hole in his back. I can imagine that being a tradition somewhere, sure. Is it an accepted thing among Buddhists in General? No, of course not. There’s not a thing I have ever seen in any historical text that comes anywhere close to this story.

It’s probably similar to a non-Christian assuming that all Christians handle snakes. Yes, some do it, but it’s absolutely not typical. This is probably the way I’d try to explain it to your friend. The world is a big place, it’s dangerous to make assumptions and generalizations.

 

2 comments to Buddha: Evil Spirit Repository

  • Andrew Miller

    I was very sorry to hear how your Christian friend reacted to your faith and spiritual practice. Perhaps their intentions were pure and they really want the best for you? However we have to beware of those who would use fear, obligation, or guilt as a tactic to motivate us to change. Making you afraid, challenging your faith, breeding doubt contributes to your suffering and is contradictory to the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. We must have compassion for our Christian brothers and sisters who may not have as direct a spiritual science as the Buddha(s) provided. I personally will never be motivated by fear. I believe it contracts the nerves and is dangerous to our health. My favorite Buddhist teacher is Thich Nhat Hanh. When I read his books I had no doubt about his compassion and spiritual diligence. He would certainly guide you to happiness rather than worry you with what might make you unhappy. He writes a book that may assist you with Christian friends called Living Buddha, Living Christ. I also recommend the book The Third Jesus by Deepak Chopra. Hopefully this will help lead you away from suffering and have you smiling and empty to be filled with the Buddha’s Light and Joy. Namaste

  • Robert

    I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. But that is me. As a Christian Buddhist I get in these conversations (though usually not as bizzare) a lot, including with myself. The trick I have found for Christian-Buddhist dialog is loving-kindness. When talking about Christianity and my theology, I talk about love, its reality, nurturing and growth. When I talk about my Buddhist practices, I talk about love and how the practices have helped me nurture and grow it. When I do this I do it as lovingly as I can. I smile, I listen.

    Also this is facebook. There is a temple in Dallas TX where in the paintings that cover the walls of the meditaiton hall there is a ocean representing the sea of suffering of the world, and one of the figures drowning in that ocean is using facebook. The silly uninformed statements on facebook is a million times greater than the truly informed and considered statements on facebook.