September 23, 2009

Top Ten Misconceptions About Buddhism

What do university students in an Introduction to Buddhism class say are the top ten misconceptions Americans have about Buddhism?:

1.“ Buddha” is spelled “Buddah.
Outside the temple of the Daibutsu in Kamakura, Japan (perhaps the most famous Buddha image in the world), a sign asks visitors to display a respectful attitude in the presence of the Bhudda. One of the most important rock albums of all time, Safe as Milk by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, was released on Buddah records. The problem is the “floating h syndrome,” which often causes the leader of the Indian independence movement to be identified as Mahatma Ghandi. The culprit is the Sanskrit letter dha the aspirate d.

Read the Top Ten Misconceptions About Buddhism, from Tricycle's Fall 1998 issue.

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marlen's picture

nice post Phillip.. You have explained the confusions/misconceptions very well.. I live in Sydney, here, most of my friends think that Buddhism is a parent religion of Hinduism, as buddhists are vegetarian, they have temples like hindus, Please write a detailed article about How Buddhism are different from Hinduism...

Ralph Quinlan Forde's picture

Another over looked fact is how connected it is to medicine and how it always has been.

Aldina's picture

11. "Tricycle" is representative of American Buddhism.

Philip Ryan's picture

Admit it, Konchog: Captain Beefheart came up on your Google Reader and you couldn't keep away.

konchog's picture

Wow. Kudos for the Beefheart reference...suddenly one of his lines occurs to me: "Someone's had too much to *think*!"

John Kernell's picture

I have taken Refuge in the Three Jewels and I am ashamed to admit how many beliefs have felt clear about, but am clearly not.

Well, humility is said good for the seeker on the Path, if painful, on occasion, until you realize (again) that there's nobody "there" to be hurt.