Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby kw93 » 27 Jun 2012, 10:42

I am interested in learning about Buddhism, as an Atheist it is one of few religions I am open to learning about. The only problem is I am not too sure if I would be wasting my time going to a temple if they did not speak English as I do not speak Chinese. My friends claim that the monks here usually do speak English, but they had only spoken to one so I'm not sure.
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Re: Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby Confuzius » 27 Jun 2012, 13:18

kw93 wrote:I am interested in learning about Buddhism, as an Atheist it is one of few religions I am open to learning about. The only problem is I am not too sure if I would be wasting my time going to a temple if they did not speak English as I do not speak Chinese. My friends claim that the monks here usually do speak English, but they had only spoken to one so I'm not sure.



Ifya wanna learn Buddhism, best not just walk up to a monk on the street and ask questions-many wont know the answers anyway even if they do speak english.

Look at dharma drum (best imho) or fo guang shan in your area-they often have english speaking groups (especially dhara drum, aka ddm)
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Re: Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby sandman » 27 Jun 2012, 13:48

That's strange. I'm an atheist too, but I'm open to learning about pretty much ANY religion.
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Re: Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby kw93 » 27 Jun 2012, 15:47

Confuzius wrote:
kw93 wrote:I am interested in learning about Buddhism, as an Atheist it is one of few religions I am open to learning about. The only problem is I am not too sure if I would be wasting my time going to a temple if they did not speak English as I do not speak Chinese. My friends claim that the monks here usually do speak English, but they had only spoken to one so I'm not sure.



Ifya wanna learn Buddhism, best not just walk up to a monk on the street and ask questions-many wont know the answers anyway even if they do speak english.

Look at dharma drum (best imho) or fo guang shan in your area-they often have english speaking groups (especially dhara drum, aka ddm)


My plan was to ask them where to go to learn about it, but I guess I wont need to now. Thanks for your help.
"We talk about civilization as though it's a static state. There are no civilized people yet, it's a process that's constantly going on... As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization."
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Re: Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby kw93 » 27 Jun 2012, 15:50

sandman wrote:That's strange. I'm an atheist too, but I'm open to learning about pretty much ANY religion.


Same here really, but Buddhism is one of few that I'm willing to seek out and learn about. If someone offered to teach me about another religion I would most likely agree since it will help me understand the culture of countries that use it.
"We talk about civilization as though it's a static state. There are no civilized people yet, it's a process that's constantly going on... As long as you have war, police, prisons, crime, you are in the early stages of civilization."
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Re: Do many Buddhist monks speak English?

Postby Huseng » 21 Aug 2012, 23:54

kw93 wrote:I am interested in learning about Buddhism, as an Atheist it is one of few religions I am open to learning about. The only problem is I am not too sure if I would be wasting my time going to a temple if they did not speak English as I do not speak Chinese. My friends claim that the monks here usually do speak English, but they had only spoken to one so I'm not sure.


Strictly speaking Buddhism is atheist if atheist means the rejection of a creator deity or monotheism. There are however a lot array of supernatural beings that have their respective places in the Buddhist cosmology.

Taiwanese Buddhist organizations have a lot of English speaking monks and nuns. I've met many who have post graduate degrees from America, but somewhere along the line decided to give up worldly pursuits in search of something more satisfying.

The big organizations like Dharma Drum Mountain and Foguangshan are more likely to have English speaking monastics, some even are native English speakers.

Chinese Buddhism, however, is often quite a lot different from how westerners conceive of Buddhism. There are a lot of rituals and special garb that come with it. It also tends to be made up of older women and a few older men, which while not unwelcoming is not necessarily the most approachable crowd for a westerner, even one who speaks Chinese. The emphasis on form and ritual is also maybe unappealing. There are huge cultural differences that must be acknowledged.

I know a number of English speaking monks if you want to get in touch with them, please PM me or e-mail me: kotykj@gmail.com
I'm also a scholar of Buddhism, so I can answer most questions. I also got a blog all about Buddhism: http://huayanzang.blogspot.tw/
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