World Religious Report
For my World Religious Report I spent time a local Buddhist Center. I chose Buddhism do to my lack of understanding of the religion, and my desire to broaden my understanding of a totally new religion. My journey first began with my visit to the Buddhist Center.
The Buddhist Center was founded in 1995 by Master *****, who is said to have dedicated his life to bringing the ancient wisdom of Buddha into modern society. During my visit I was told that the purpose of Center is to enable the development of inner peace through the study and practice of Kadampa Buddhist meditation. Classes are taught by the resident teacher, American Buddhist monk and by senior ...view middle of the document...
After a while of browsing around the store I met a man, whom I then struck up a conversation with.
A man who is currently a senior student at the center actually lives in the temple. I asked tom if it would be possible to schedule an interview with the resident teacher, informed me that the resident teacher was unavailable for the next several weeks; however, he would be happy to answer any questions I may have. So with tom’s help I began my journey into Buddhism.
The first thing we did was take a tour of the facility, obviously this included the temple were I had to remove my shoes as is customary. I ask tom to explain to me what Buddhism was about. Tom told me there the basic concept of Buddhism is inner enlightenment. This particular center focuses on working men and woman in western society and the goal of this center is to bring Buddhism to mainstream America in such a way they the working class can effectively lean and enjoy the practices associated with the religion. I must say that my initial thought was that I would be stepping in to a traditional monastery with monks everywhere; I quickly came to find out that most members of the center were just like me. After our opening conversation I soon moved in to some deeper questioning.
The first direct question I posed to tom was for him tell me about himself. Tom said he worked in Downtown at a business and lived above the center in an extra room. He lived there to save on rent an provide security for the center, A win-win situation for both of them, he had told me that he has been studying Buddhism sine the center had opened and was a trusted member of the center. I as k tom If he planned on becoming an official monk, he said no that the commitment was just too much for him at the time and that he as happy where he was now. I asked tom to describe some of the more important holidays of Buddhism. This part of the conversation was rather hard to follow; I did learn that most holidays are based on days related to the birth of death of the Buddha and that different country such as Japan may use different dates then Tibetan Buddhist. Another interesting bit I learned was how the Buddhist uses a lunar system to set the dates of a holiday and not the traditional western calendar. We soon moved on to talking about traditions.
The traditions of Buddhism aren’t nessasarly the same everywhere. I learned that...