Bald As A Baby’s Bottom

Those who know me well are aware that for the most part, I’ve kept a shaved head. This has had a bit to do with aspects of my beliefs, although one might be surprised to know that I don’t NEED to shave my head, I simply choose to do so as a show of discipline and as a sign of my devotion to said discipline.

If I can be BRUTALLY honest, it also plays a role in the martial arts as having a bald head gives a sparring opponent one less thing to grab onto. This has also been a practical application in my chosen career, as the very real threat of someone pulling on long hair and exposing a throat is a significant concern.

However, what most people don’t know is that you can practice Buddhism and NOT be bald. It’s not actually a requirement. In Buddhism, the shaving of one’s head and face signifies one of the first steps involved in becoming a monk and starting a monastic life.

This has been a common trait in monasticism for a number of different religions throughout the ages, including but not limited to Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and some sects of Christianity. This was usually done as a means of showing religious devotion or humility, but has also been used as a rite of passage at certain stages in life.

But for Buddhist monks, the shaving of one’s head acts as a symbol of denouncing worldly attachments. It also helps to act as a symbol of monkshood and to emulate the Buddha, who also shaved his head prior to attaining enlightenment.

So yes, Buddhist monks shave their heads and this is an observance they must follow. No, Buddhist practitioners who are not ordained as monks are not required to do so. Some of us simply choose to do so for the reasons I mentioned in the first paragraph. And no, rubbing a Buddhist’s bald head for good luck is absolutely NOT a thing. In fact, it is strongly discouraged. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

5 thoughts on “Bald As A Baby’s Bottom”

    1. You are correct, in that there are exceptions to most traditions in most religions. I am unfamiliar with the term “nakpas”… Can you provide some context/reference to this, so that I may research it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nakpas are basically Tibetan Buddhist Laypersons that have committed themselves to the all the five moral ethics (Shila) vows as well as engage in practices of secret mantra and follow the ten virtues and don’t engage in ten none virtues whilst still studying, contemplating and meditating the precious Buddha dharma. They’re normally under the direction of a qualified lineage holder teacher of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism. They wear robes that are maroon and white. They’re not bound by celibacy and this has been a big reason married couples who wish to be monastics however honor their previous commitments to their partners choose the Nagkpa path. Marpa was a famous Ngakpa the teacher of Milarepa hope this helps you on your research. I will add as well that the purpose I’ve been told for not cutting the hair is because every atom of the body’s physical form is blessed from their practice. It’s also practical as it can be like Buddha simply tucked behind ears or held back in a bun on their heads without worrying about the fuss of attachments to ones appearances. Your natural state of being is always perfect and ultimately your inner workings with the mind are where your radiance and accomplishments reside. May you experience peace happiness and liberation for the benefit of all sentient beings.

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