Discussion Forum

In the Buddha culture…why shave hair on heads ?

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I’m spiritual, non-denominational. I’m gifting myself with the adventure of attending an overnight New Years retreat in the Bay Area ~ ~ We will be gathering with others at a Zen retreat and sharing meditation through the evening, at mid-night and awakening early for early morning meditation. I do meditate, yet not, as yet, to the deeper level that they do as at this Zen meditation center. We’re leaving to drive to the Bay Area this afternoon and looking forward to it.

My question is this . . . I attended a half day meditation there some weeks back and noticed that some, including women, had their hair shaved off.

Why do they do this.? I’m respecting of persons of all faiths and sometimes wonder why a person of a certain faith does something so, just wondering.

Do you know why persons in the Buddha faith shave the hair on their head off? Appreciate insight.

5 Comments

  • Clearly you can be vain about have a shaved head.

    Many people are. So what is the point of shaving your head ?

    Actually, by making the effort to shave your head you are saying that you want to create an attachment to shaving your head.

    Otherwise you would be equanimous about it.

  • I shaved my hair when I was a novice monk and also when my mother died.Basically,this is a symbolic act of non-attachment and annica(impermanent).Hope this help.

  • Happykid is nearly right in her explanation. The Lord Buddha taught in the Dharma that the human condition is characterised by suffering and that there are 4 Noble Truths to be realised in relation to this condition.

    1.In Life there is suffering
    2.Suffering is caused by the want or craving for the impermanent
    effects of self serving desire.
    3.The way to counteract and therefore rid yourself of suffering is
    to rid yourself of the cause of suffering
    4.The way to rid yourself of suffering is by adhering to the
    eightfold Noble Path

    What you are witnessing then is those devotees honoring the Lord Buddha as a great Teacher of the Dharma by showing by deed that they understand the 4 Noble Truths and understand what is meant by impermanence and are showing that by ridding themselves of something about themselves which is impermanent …their hair….

    Hope this sheds some light on a Noble Gesture, the honouring of the Lord Buddha’s compassion in giving the Dharma to humans.

    Peace from a Theravada Buddhist..in the season of joy

  • It is to seperate them from the pleasures of the mundane world. Vanity is just one more thing to distract you from the truth.

  • A co-worker of mine just shaved his head. His wife is a Buddhist and her mother died. He said it was traditional for one to shave their head after a family member dies. They’re form Cambodia. I’m sure there’s other occasions as well.

    You’ll be in the right place to ask…& I’ve found that most people will explain thier customs to you happily.

    * By the way whats the name of the retreat, sounds interesting. Happy New Year 🙂

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