Most of my family members are Theravada Buddhists as a child with no voice or choice I was forced to go.To sit in a horrible position for hours listening to old people gossip while listening to monks chanting,yeah every child's dream!Why do we buy snacks,bring sticky rice and offer it to our dead ancestors then certain members of the sangha put them in baskets so we can pick them like we're trick or treating?There are living people who are starving why can't we help them to practice being generous?Why do we chant while pouring water into a bowl then take the bowl outside to water plants?Why do we let monks sleep at our homes,let them spray cologne on the back of our heads,use a brush to scratch "sacred prayers" onto the back of our heads,put a candle in there mouth and blow smoke on our heads?Why do we have long skinny candles we use to measure our arm,neck to bellybutton,width of our head,every family member in the house does this,the candles are wrapped around each other and burned while the monks chant then they put the candle out in a bowl of water which we sprinkle on ourselves after we bathe?Why do the men get a written "sacred prayer" on their backs?Why do the monks sprinkle candle,flower  water at us when we are at the Wat(temple)?Why do they tie braided string around our wrists while chanting and telling us we have to wear them for a certain amount of days.I never considered myself a Buddhist and never had an interest until something happened.In 7TH grade I went over to a friend's house for a certain occasion,in the drive way I noticed a person dressed in white bending over something on the front lawn near the porch in the dark,logic told me "Oh it must be so and so's dad wonder what he's doing over there!"When I went inside I walked past him and he was wearing something completely different.I asked my friend who was outside and she said no one then I asked why were we gathered there and she told me it was the anniversary of their grandmother's death and they offered some food on a plate outside.I was always skeptical about the paranormal before and I loved everything about it but now that I experienced it I never wanted it to happen again!From that day on I tried to learn more about the paranormal and Buddhism,I went to two Buddhist festivals which were wonderful,I read some books on Buddhism and check out Buddhist websites but sometimes I have trouble understanding what they talk about.I am a very serious person but I am a slow learner,I want to know more about Buddhism but I have trouble understanding certain things.I really like listening to the lectures of the Dalai Lama,he is so easy to understand and so loveable.My relatives and I still don't get along even though we follow the same religion,they see the Buddha as a god while I see Buddha as a title meaning one that is awake,it didn't say a human so doesn't that mean anything that is capable of awakening has the potential to become a Buddha?

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