A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

It all depends on your point of view!

I had a friend who by the time we finished high school, had what we would have called a friar’s hair line. The type of baldness that was typically portrayed on English Friar’s and monks in the movies. Back in the 70s baldness wasn’t seen in the same light it is today. He was teased, and quite often offered a lollipop with the saying “Who love’s you baby” from the television show Kojack.

Then one day he was given a t-shirt with a slogan that he has had reprinted several times.

God only made a few perfect heads.

On the rest he put hair!

Buddhist monks shave their hair as explained in the following from Buddhanet.net:

Q: Why do monks shave their heads?

A: When the prince who was to become the Buddha left his palace to seek a way beyond ageing, sickness and death, it is said that one of the first things that he did was to shave off his hair and beard and put on the yellow cloth . Buddhist monks always completely shave their head and beard, showing their commitment to the Holy Life (Brahmacariya) of one gone forth into the homeless life. (In India some ascetics tear out their hair, while others never touch it so that it becomes a tangled mass.) A rule states that a bhikkhu should not allow his hair to grow beyond a certain length or time, so he will shave usually at least once a fortnight or month, sometimes more frequently. To do this he uses his razor, which is also one of his requisites. ‘Hair-of-the-head’ (kesa) is one of the five parts of the body mentioned in the ordination ceremony and is used to recollect the true nature of the body. The bhikkhu is also not allowed to dye or pluck out any grey hairs,for they are useful reminders of old-age and impermanence. (Just consider how much time and money is wasted by people trying to make their hair remain beautiful and young-looking.) source: Buddanet.net FAQs

So when your worried about going gray, bald or hiding your blemishes, perhaps learning to accept yourself as you are, and as you are becoming, would benefit you more than all the beauty products in the world. Cosmetics only hide, they don’t make a permanent change.

For a ladies perspective check out Naomi Baltuck’s blog.


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