Buddhist Jokes

It is said that Buddhists are a gloomy lot because our doctrine revolves around dealing with suffering.
This article illustrates that Buddhists fully appreciate mirth and joy.


A Zen master told me, “Do the opposite of what I tell you.” So I didn’t.

Says the Master to his pupil: “Do you understand that you don’t really exist?”
Upon which the pupil replies: “To whom are you telling that?”

The Buddha saw one of his followers meditating under a tree at the edge of the Ganges River. Upon inquiring why he was meditating, his follower stated he was attempting to become so enlightened he could cross the river unaided. Buddha gave him a few pennies and said: “Why don’t you seek passage with that boatman. It is much easier.”

Someone sent the Buddha a gift box tied with a ribbon. Buddha opened it to find it empty. “Aha!”, he said, “Just what I wanted. Nothing!”

A Western Buddhist woman was in India, studying with her teacher. She was riding with another woman friend in a rickshaw, when they were attacked by a man on the street. In the end, the attacker only succeeded in frightening the women, but the Buddhist woman was quite upset by the event and told her teacher. She asked him what she should have done: “What would have been the appropriate, Buddhist response?” The teacher said very simply, “You should have very mindfully and with great compassion whacked the attacker over the head with your umbrella.”

Q. What did one Zen practitioner give to another for their birthday?
A. Nothing.

What did the Buddhist say to the pizza chef?
Make me one with everything. The pizza chef prepares it and gives it to the monk.
The monk pays him and asks for the change.
The pizza vendor says: “Change comes from within.”

How many Zen Buddhists does it take to screw in a light bulb? There is no light bulb.

Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with the computer he is working with?
A: He enters Nerdvana.

Why did the Buddhist coroner get fired?
He kept marking the cause of death as “birth.”

A Buddhist phones the monastery and asks the monk, “Can you come to do a blessing for my new house?”
The monk replies “Sorry, I’m busy.”
“What are you doing? Can I help?”
“I’m doing nothing.” replied the monk. “Doing nothing is a monk’s core business and you can’t help me with that.”
So the next day the Buddhist phones again, “Can you please come to my house for a blessing?”
“Sorry,” said the monk, “I’m busy.”
“What are you doing?”
“I’m doing nothing,” replied the monk.
“But that was what you were doing yesterday!” said the Buddhist.
“Correct”, replied the monk, “I’m not finished yet!”

A Zen student asked his master: “Is it okay to use email?” “Yes”, replied the master, “but with no attachments.”

Q: How many Zen Buddhists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three: one to change it, one to not-change it and one to both change and not-change it.

A student is on one side of a raging river. There are no bridges. He has no boat. He shouts out to the master on the opposite bank. “How do I get to the other side?”
The master shouts back: “You are on the other side.”

Q: Why don’t Buddhists vacuum in the corners?
A: Because they have no attachments.

So, I hear reincarnation is making a comeback.

Q: Why are politicians proof of reincarnation?
A: You just can’t get that screwed up in one lifetime.

Q. What did the Buddhist tell the door-to-door salesperson who came to his home selling vacuum cleaners?
A. Too many attachments!

Q: Did you hear about the new low-fat religion?
A: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha”

Q. What did the sign in the monastery searching for new monks say?
A. Inquire within!

The Master: I’ve never met someone so thoughtless in my life. Keep up the good work. The disciple: Thank you Master I didn’t believe in reincarnation the last time, either.

My karma ran over my dogma.

Two men meet on the street. One asks the other: “Hi, how are you?”
The other ones replies: “I’m fine, thanks.”
“And how’s your son? Is he still unemployed?”
“Yes, he is. But he is meditating now.”
“Meditating? What’s that?”
“I don’t know. But it’s better than sitting around and doing nothing!”

What did one Buddhist Master give to the child for his birthday? Nothing wrapped in Emptiness. How did the birthday child respond? You are thoughtless for giving me this meaningless gift. To which the Buddhist Master replied, “Thank you.”

One Zen student said, “My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating.”
The second said, “My teacher has so much self control, he can go days without sleep.” The third said, “My teacher is so wise that he eats when he’s hungry and sleeps when he’s tired.”

A man joins a Tibetan monastery. He takes a vow of silence but is allowed 2 words a year.
After a rough year of doing 14 hour days in the field, eating rice, sleeping on a wooden bed and only having one thin blanket, the man goes to the head monk and says
“More blankets”
Another year passes and he visits the head monk and says
“More food”
A year later the man finds he is drained by the long work days, so he calls on the head monk and uses his two words to say
“I’m leaving”
The head monk says
“Good! You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here.”

A Catholic priest, a Jewish rabi and a Buddhist monk walk into a bar. The barman looks up and says “What the heck! Is this a joke?”

A Buddhist nun is meditating under a tree in the corner of a paddock. “Oom, oom, oom….”
Just over the fence are two cows. One cow turns to the other and says
“She has got it back to front.”

A monk sees that his fellow monk has a big smile so he asks
“Why are you so happy?”
The monk replies
“I have no idea.”

Don’t make the same mistakes twice. Say NO to reincarnation!

Hope you have enjoyed the jokes. Keep smiling!

Buddhist FAQS

What is Buddhism

Buddhism can simply be described with one word – kindness. At it’s core is the idea of being kind to oneself, to others and to all living creatures.

Who created Buddhism

Buddhism was created by the historical person of Siddhartha Gautama, who was born on the Indian subcontinent in 480 BCE and died aged 80. After his enlightenment he was honoured with the title of Buddha (meaning enlightened one).

For details of his history click on the category “Buddhas Life” in the Lotus Library.

When did the Buddha live

The Buddha was born on the Indian subcontinent in 480 BCE and died aged 80. (An alternate timeline has him born in 563 BCE.)

What do Buddhists believe

Buddhist do not have a god to believe in. Instead, they trust that the Buddha’s message about spiritual development is better than what they can invent themselves and better than anything they can find in the new-age section of bookshops.

For more information on Buddhism’s core concepts look up “Noble Truths” and “Eightfold Path” in the Lotus Library.

How old is Buddhism

Buddhism dates back 2500 years. As such it is the oldest of the major religions except for Zoroastrianism.

Why is Buddhism growing in the West

A majority of younger adults in western societies are atheists. This has left an emptiness due to the lack of a spiritual direction and a loss of spiritual companionship. Buddhism has filled these gaps. It appeals as it does not demand a set of beliefs but instead maps out a spiritual path with ethical and spiritual practices.

What are the Four Noble Truths

Basically it is a medical examination of the human condition. It states that:

There is a problem – Suffering
There is a Cause of the suffering
There is a Cure for the suffering
The cure is the Eightfold Path

For a more in depth treatment, look up Noble Truths in the Lotus Library.

What is the Eightfold Path

The eight parts set out a way of life that hinge around 3 concepts:

Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom.

For a deeper understanding look up Eightfold Path in the Lotus Library.

Where was the Buddha born

The Buddha was born at Lumbini in present day Nepal in 480 BCE.

Where did the Buddha die

The Buddha died at Kushinagar in India in 400 BCE.



Lessons from Ukraine

We have all been shocked by the events in Ukraine. Firstly shock that the peace of Europe has been broken by a large scale invasion. Next disbelief at the brutality of the offensive and lastly abhorrence at the scale of war crimes.

The initial shock and fear quickly can turn to anger in us and a lot of us have felt this over the sad weeks as the war progressed.

So what can we learn from this sad addition to this inhuman history?

Firstly, we must remember that anything that upsets us, challenges us, is a teacher that has been sent to us. The lesson is nothing to do with war or human nature, instead it is an opportunity to monitor how we react. Let us examine some of these.


A primordial reaction. And for most of us an irrational reaction as we are likely to be hundreds or more likely, thousands of kilometres away from the danger.

This fear has no basis in reality. It is an example of annata “in spades”. There is no physical danger we are in yet with a total lack of reality we feel this fear. We let a storyline start and then immerse ourselves in it and let it run. It runs till we become emotionally exhausted with it or even worse, start a new and different storyline.


Especially men go down this rabbit hole. Males find fear quite uncomfortable and with so much testosterone in their systems, it is easy to transform fear into anger. Although anger is more corrosive, it seems a more comfortable weight to bear.

Again there is no reality here. Who are we angry with?

– The War: we cannot be angry at a noun

– Putin: we are unlikely to meet him in the local pub so cannot punch him on the nose

– The Russian People: they too are victims as they have had their government taken over by murderous thugs and they suffer whenever they protest

We need to check into reality. To examine our mental state. And ask ourselves

“Am I creating dukkha (suffering) for myself?”

When we realise that we are poisoning our minds and ruining our day, then we can let it go. Just letting it go is not enough though as it can easily sneak back into our thoughts. After letting go of anger we have to make sure our minds are directed onto something. This can be sending metta to the suffering people of Ukraine or as simple as getting busy by washing up the breakfast dishes.

How can we find a way to be at ease with this evil in the world?

It is simple but it is not easy.

If possible, we have to step back and take a big-picture view of life. History is overflowing with wars, many even more barbaric and larger in scale. It is as the Buddha told us – life is full of suffering.

There is always a war going on somewhere on the planet. This one seems much worse as it is larger and reported more vehemently.

Before this war started there were terrorist insurgencies and ethnic violence in 14 countries in Africa and 5 in South Asia. The dead from these places were just as dead as the Ukrainian dead.

We have to keep some perspective. The suffering we experience from this war is due to our exposure to the media frenzy. And our inability to stop following the war constantly.

So as Buddhists, what is a “good” way to react to this war?

Firstly, we can reduce the suffering we are inflicting on ourselves. Watch the news less. Meditate more. Send metta to the Ukrainians. Keep busy and minimise those destructive storylines.

Secondly, show kindness. We feel helpless BUT we are not. Donate to a worthy charity like the Ukrainian Red Cross and do something to reduce the suffering.

Terry Redmond