I am in Chiang Mai, Thailand having a chat with a twenty-two year old Buddhist monk named Puttatammo. He tells me he and his fellow monks spend two hours meditating and praying every morning and every evening. Three more hours of Puttatammo’s a day is devoted to studying the teachings of Buddha. My own time spent meditating, praying and studying the Bible pales in comparison. I could learn from Puttatammo’s example.
Puttatammo tells me Buddhist monks practice moderation in all things. They eat only two simple meals a day and avoid drugs and alcohol or anything else that might interfere with their clarity of mind. Two simple meals a day would be a pretty healthy thing for me to consider too. Monks must not kill or harm living things and must never lie, steal or engage in hateful speech or irresponsible sexual behavior. Great guidance for good living and suspiciously like the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament.
There were definitely things of value in this Buddhist monk’s approach to life and faith that might enrich my own life and faith. There were definitely things his Buddhist faith and my own Mennonite faith had in common.