Essay on Feeding The Buddha By Barbara O ' Brien

Essay on Feeding The Buddha By Barbara O ' Brien

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Buddhism expert, Barbara O’Brien’s article called “Feeding the Buddha” explains many interesting rituals that Buddhists still do today. She explains that the most common and oldest ritual in Buddhism is the offering of food to monks. The offering of food reminds the people who practice Buddhism not to be greedy or selfish. The first Buddhist monks were homeless since they did not build monasteries. They would beg for food and the only thing they owned was their robe and the bowl they would eat off of when they received their food. Food offerings to monks is what supports them.
Think about Buddhism being a tree and its branches being all the different schools that have gone in separate ways, they all look up to Buddha for his teachings but they do their rituals in different ways. In the article “Feeding of the Buddha”, O’Brien talks about how different schools of Buddhism do food offerings. Monks in Theravada countries leave early in the morning to beg for food. Most of what the monks eat is what they receive. They walk in single file, oldest to youngest and carry their bowl in front of them. Lay people sometimes kneel while waiting for them. What they place in their bowl can be food, flowers, or incense sticks. When women are going to place something in them monks’ bowls she has to be careful not to touch them. In Mahayana countries, the ritual has almost disappeared. In Japan this ritual is called Takuhatsu. Takuhatsu means “request” for taku and “with eating bowls” for hatsu. They receive their food differently. Instead of just begging for food they recite sutras in exchange for what the people doing the offerings want to give them. Takuhatsu monks wear a big straw hat so that it covers part of their face. These hats are worn so...


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...tions is the full bow. The full bow starts by getting on your knees and touching ones forehead to the floor. Other traditions touch their folded hands to their foreheads before getting down on the floor. Other forms of bowing that are taught in some schools of Buddhism is when the forehead is on the floor, hands should be with their palms up by their ears and parallel to the floor, than, while their forehead is still on the floor, they raise than lower their hands. The other form is to lower both hands and knees before they lower their heads to the floor. Some traditions think that pressing the hands against the floor is bad. O’Brien also adds that in Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhists stretch their whole body out. They get on their knees and hands first, than flat out with their face down and their arms stretched out the direction they are bowing with their palms outward.

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