Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Popular Buddhist practices of average people in China?

I know that personal shrines, ceremonies for special occasions (new home, wedding, funeral), and holidays (new year, tomb sweeping day) are common. What are some of the details?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
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    Hi there,

    There are many Buddhist practices of average people in China. Yes as you said many people go to local temple for personal reasons, they may pray for good fortune for the wedding and the New Year. A lot of them would put money into the boxes to support temple renovation/daily operation. Ritual Services is very common (normally money is not involved here). People would invite Buddhist monks to chant for the person that past away, all in the hope that his/her soul travel to a better place, or get salvation.

    There are some other ceremonies too. People celebrate Gautama Buddha's birthday, the day he entered nivara and become a Buddha, and the birthdays of many other Buddhas and Boddhisatvas. People are supposed to dress formally on these special occasions, I often see Buddhists wearing dark clothing, called 海青 in Chinese, when they attend the ceremonies. (I put some links down there so that you have an idea)

    I know a lot of people meditate, and this has become their daily routine. Buddhists also hold weekly or monthly group gatherings so that they could study and practice together. Some people say Zen deteriorates in China, but I don't necessarily agree with them because they don't come to China and see it, or they come, but have very limited access to it. Their idea may have something to do with Cultural Revolution, but this is another story.

    Tibetan Buddhism is also very popular in coastal areas. Yes it is very different from the traditional Buddhism that Han people practice, but it has always held its unique appeal to us. His holiness of Karmapa is highly respected by many. Again a lot of the followers make a pilgrimage to Lasa.

    Anyways I know you are asking about the average people so back to the topic, there are other forms of practice as well. Average people make a journey to the four Buddhist Holy Mountains: 九华Jiu Hua, 普陀Pu Tuo, 峨眉E Mei, 五台Wu Tai, to pray for good fortunes.

    China is huge, so of course there are a lot more Buddhist practices out there, I just saw part of them, and I may be biased cuz i'm like a sand in the river Ganges. But I hope this is helpful. : )

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