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Religion And Ethnic Diversity Essay

1558 words - 7 pages

Religion and Ethnic Diversity Paper
Tammy L. Morgan
Dr. Sisay Teketele

Religion and Ethnic Diversity Paper
Buddhism is a religion that has fascinated me for many years. I do not claim to be affiliated with any specific organized religion, but I do however, enjoy educating myself about the many different religions that we as humans have become so reliant on. I mean absolutely no disrespect, nor do I mean to trivialize the teachings of any religion, but I will say that Buddhism is one that I can relate to more so than most. Buddhism is a religion f oneness and compassion. Buddhist teachings consist of messages that encourages its followers to “Cease all unwholesome ...view middle of the document...

There are four stages that one must go through before achieving arhat status. The first is Sotapanna or “stream-enterer”. This particular stage refers to someone who has converted by overcoming false beliefs. The second sage is Sakadagamin or “once-returner”. This stage refers to someone who has purged themselves of lust, hatred and illusion and will only be reborn once more before achieving nirvana. The third stage is called Anagamin or “never-returner”. This stage signifies the point at which an individual will reborn in heaven. Once they achieve this rebirth, they will become an arahant. The fourth and final stage is called Arhat, or “worthy-one”. An individual reaches the final stage when he or she has attained nirvana and they will no longer have to be reborn (Theravada Buddhism: “The way of the elders”, 2004).
It is easy to see from this brief description of theravadin beliefs how different Buddhism is from other religions. Mahayana Buddhism is basically a more user friendly extension of Theravada Buddhism, which is much more philosophical than religious and requires much more commitment from those involved (Theravada Buddhism: “The way of the elders”, 200
While both branches of the religion permute peace, the extinction of suffering, and oneness, Buddhists have endured persecution for centuries. They have been arrested. Their monasteries were destroyed and their religion was banned (Dietrich, 1996). Today there are many misconceptions regarding Buddhism and its more religious practices. For example, many Christians believe that the idea of nirvana is a desire for non-existence, which is surely not the case. There are even some extremists tat believe that Buddhism what created by Satan himself. They believe between its satanic origins and the worshiping of false idols, Buddhists are all damned to hell ( Source and citation needed here).

Despite the difficult road, Buddhism has managed to flourish. Most associate Buddhism with Asian cultures and they are not incorrect in doing so. Buddhism is widespread across northern, southern and eastern Asia, but the religion has found our western shores welcoming. Buddhism has become much more mainstream these days, with Buddhist study centers all over the United States and Europe (Material Religion, 2008). Buddhism and the culture associated with the religion is being intertwined with western cultures. Through art, philosophy, and general world views, Buddhism has touched many lives whether we realize it or not.
As I said in the beginning, Buddhism is one religion that has always fascinated me. This is mostly due to the fact that I have never really regarded it as a religion, but more of a journey on which we learn to live in harmony with ourselves as well as the world around us. I have always considered the teachings of Buddhism, what little of them that I personally know of, as a means to not only understand the reality of this world, but also a means of embracing this world for all that it...

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