Articles

Practical Buddhism

In Buddhism, we talk about impermanence and we discussed how we should let go of our physical body and not be attached to it. We discussed how we have to accept the inevitable aging.

However, that doesn’t mean lay followers should forgo personal hygiene and up-keeping our appearance. You know that right?

Keeping up appearances like styling our hair, applying make up, dressing up in clean clothing, applying deodorants, etc is part of our social etiquette as layman. The Buddha never request His lay-followers to behave like monks.

We need not dress in rags to prove that we are great practitioners. In fact, we should continue meeting social expectations after converting to Buddhism. It is not a secret that people who are better in appearance have an advantage in our materialistic society. Becoming a Buddhist doesn’t mean we turn into social recluse or become anti-establishments. Being considerate of social expectations is also training our tolerance and kindness.

It is important that we keep a balanced approach to our religious practice. We have to practice wisely without neglecting our social responsibilities. Some people tend to be caught by religious fervour and can mess up their social life in the end. Then lament that Buddhism causes a decline to their quality of life. That is very foolish and unfortunate.

In summary, we need to be true to ourselves and not mindlessly imitate the monastic communities. For a lay Buddhist we only need to observe the 5 precepts. Nothing in these precepts forbade or discourage us from dressing up to meet social expectations or social obligations.

May all be well and happy.

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