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Would Buddha do it?

Re: "Don't limit monks", (Editorial, Oct 16).

The myopic decree to forbid Buddhist monks from expanding their intelligence and studying subjects not directly related to Buddhism will not preserve Buddhism or enhance a monk's awareness of reality.

In the 21st century, knowledge and information is increasing exponentially and any institution desiring to stay relevant must address this by expanding their knowledge base, not retarding it. The Dalai Lama in his book The Universe in a Single Atom says that Buddhism must incorporate Science. If science shows a Buddhist tenet is wrong, then Buddhism must adjust accordingly.

This flexible willingness to adapt is crucial in order to adjust to change -- and we are certainly in a time of rapid change.

There are numerous fields of study from brain research to historical trends of monasticism that would benefit a monk as he attempts to gain enlightenment. Why would someone intentionally limit another's quest for truth and understanding?

If Buddhism is to be a part of society's future here, it has to adjust accordingly to the changes that society is encountering. If not, it will swiftly be left out of the composition. Already, most people I speak to claim they are Buddhist, but almost none say they meditate.

If someone could be shown the science that documents the physiological and psychological benefits of meditation practices, maybe they would be more inclined to practise it personally.

Finally, what would Buddha do? Would he say to avoid knowledge and wisdom and remain ignorant or would he encourage seeking?


Vax passport blues

Re: "Simplicity becomes complex", (PostBag, Oct 17).

Actually there are only two centres in Bangkok which issue a vaccine passport. I had an hectic experience. With two other friends we booked an appointment online. We arrived there at 10am to be told they did not have our names! So we had to get a number. We got 197 198 199. They only take 200 a day.

Then we were told to come back at 2pm. We finally got our passport at 3.30 pm after going to three different floors. First floor to register, fourth to pay 50 baht, and fifth to get our passport!


Rank the writers

Re: "Prizes for letter writers", (PostBag, Oct 17).

I quite like Ye Olde Bloviator's suggestion for awards for "best of" letters in different categories.

My own suggestion, which I hope might have a slightly better chance of being adopted, is for PostBag to run a weekly review of the topics in the previous seven days which elicited the most correspondence and how differing views stacked up against each other.

This is not an original idea; it's a feature of a number of major newspapers around the world. It humanises the selection process and gives some context when a lovingly crafted contribution is consigned to the reject tray with nary a by-your-leave or thank you.


Let's go nuts

Re: "Don't forget the elephants", (PostBag, Oct 17).

The saying that Ron Flietman refers to: "You can judge a country by the way it treats its animals" was made by Mahatma Gandhi. So when we animal rights supporters are called nuts, we can tell people that one of the greatest "nuts" in history shared our views. In fact before we completely destroy our planet and all the inhabitants in it -- human and non-human -- I think the world could benefit from having a few more "nuts".


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All letter writers must provide a full name and address. All published correspondence is subject to editing at our discretion