One of the most interesting aspects of Thailand, that I have seen so far, is Thai Buddhism. Now there are many different types of Buddhism, based on what part of the world it is practiced in. Because of this, Buddhism has many different forms, perspectives, and types of practice, however what I find most interesting about this nontheistic religion (a religion that does not have a specific god or deity), is in its form of practice. Now Buddhism is not technically classified as a religion according to its Thai followers, but instead a social system of beliefs and practices that are more spiritual than religious. Many of their prayers and practices are in hope of good luck of good fortune, instead of praising a god or greater being.
No, instead Buddhism practices the teachings of Buddha as many of you know, which is more of an education from that anything. What I respect about this practice, is that its followers are being thankful and praying for three distinct things.
1. They are praying for Buddha.
2. They are thanking Buddha for his teachings.
3. They are thanking the monks of the temple in which they are praying.
The reason why I respect this so much is because Buddhists know exactly what they are praying and thankful for. They understand the story of Buddha, what he is teaching, and lastly they are thanking those that make practicing Buddhism possible – the monks. I often get frustrated with western religion where people often pray, believe in a religion, or worship a god with no reason for doing so. Maybe it is because they were told to, or their parents were believers in that religion. However, Buddhists must believe in the teachings of Buddha before practicing that religion. You cannot be forced to be Buddhist, but instead accept being buddhist and accept the beliefs that come with this practice. Buddhism has given me faith in religion because to them religion is not worth war, death, or suffering. It is simply a belief.