“Ask a Buddhist” is a recurring column on SpokaneFāVS, an online news source covering religion, spirituality, and ethics in the Inland Northwest of the U.S. Readers submit questions about Buddhist faith and meditation and Abbey monastics respond. 

Click on the links below to read articles published from July 2019 to August 2021.

Nun panel.
  • Do Buddhists Pray?
    Buddhist prayers, arising from a Buddhist worldview, assert our deepest aspirations to develop excellent qualities and to live them in our daily lives in order to benefit the world.
  • Rebirth, Control, and Sexual Pleasure
    One major difference between Buddhism and the Abrahamic traditions comes when we talk about who or what created and controls the universe.
  • Is Organ Donation OK?
    Buddhists are encouraged to protect life, including the lives of animals, which is said to create karmic causes for a long life in this and future lives, as well as good health, a pleasing appearance and a favorable rebirth.
  • What Makes A Person A Buddhist?
    Duhkha is often translated as suffering, and so it’s understandable that most people assume duhkha is limited to the physical and mental suffering that we all experience.
  • Who Is Maitreya Buddha and When Will He Come?
    A long, long time ago as a bodhisattva, Maitreya specialized in the meditation on great love. He meditated on great love continually.
  • Buddhist Books for Kids
    Here is a list of a few of the many Buddhist books available for children. We hope you’ll find it helpful.
  • Why Do Bad Things Happen?
    The Buddha frequently taught about causality, one form of which is the law of karma and its effects.
Lunar New Year puja community.
  • Buddha’s Forgiveness
    According to the Buddhist teachings, the Buddha always forgives us, no matter what we do.
  • Karma and Predestination
    In general, positive actions (such as helping people and being generous) lead to good experiences and happiness, while negative actions (such as harming others and being deceitful) lead to bad experiences and unhappiness.
  • Are There Buddhist Rules I Must Follow?
    Although the Buddha prescribed ethical guidelines for us to follow, it is our choice whether to do so or not.
  • How Do Buddhists Respond To The Pandemic?
    For me, the coronavirus is a powerful teacher about life, death, change, compassion, and resilience.
  • Do Buddhist Monastics Beg?
    The tradition of spiritual seekers accepting alms from layfolk already existed at the time of the Buddha—in fact, meeting a wandering mendicant and being impressed by his serenity was one of the experiences that inspired Siddhartha Gautama to embark on a spiritual quest.
  • Why did Buddha Contemplate Instead of Help?
    The Buddha recognized a deeper truth—that all the material aid in the world cannot prevent aging, sickness, and death.
  • Healing the Environment
    We can see from Buddhist scriptures that the Buddha, the Enlightened One, and his disciples lived in close harmony with the environment.
  • Buddhist Without A Temple
    These days, there are many ways to get in touch with quality Buddhist teachings without attending a temple or Dharma center.