Letter: Baptism in Christianity and Buddhism

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The Independent Online
Andrew Brown states (23 July) that 'the only major religion which does not have a ceremony to welcome children into the world is Buddhism . . .'

Some Buddhist traditions do, in fact, provide naming ceremonies for those who wish to make use of them. In the Soto Zen Buddhist School, to which I belong, water is poured on the Third Eye in the centre of the forehead of the infant as the celebrant recites the homage to the Three Treasures: Homage to the Buddha; Homage to the Dharma; Homage to the Sangha.

After this, the child is named, using the following formula: We offer you (NAME) to the Buddhas and the Ancestors that they may guard and protect you until you come to Buddhahood.

This ceremony is widely made use of by the increasing number of Zen Buddhists in Europe and North America.

Yours sincerely,

ANTHONY WEEDON

Louth, Lincolnshire

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