Praying to that Doll?

Today is the 8th day of the 12th month of the lunar calendar, the day on which we celebrate the Buddha experienced his “ah, that’s me!” after sitting for seven days under a tree, some 2500 years ago.

daibutsu (1 von 1)When my daughter was little, she once saw me bowing to a small Buddha statue at home and asked “papa, are you praying to that doll?”.

I replied that this doll is how we imagine a person might have looked like who lived very long long time ago in far away India. And that this person understood how to live one’s life happier, and that he kindly taught it to other people. And those who learned from him carried it further on and on across the continents over many many hundred years, until today where I learned it from my teachers. So, when I bow I am not praying, but saying “thank you” to all these people who helped me to live happier.

My daughter curiously listened, and then, without hesitation, bowed towards me, saying “and you are making my life happier” … and after thinking for a second, “and now you must bow to me, because I make your life happier!”.

Sure, I did … and for me that’s all with bowing to people or statues, saying “thank you!”.