Buddhist Ethnography Essay

Words: 1263
Pages: 6

The Buddhist Experience
Buddhism is a religion that focuses more on the individual and the actions of that individual, which was prevalent to me when I made my way into Portland and set foot in a Buddhist temple. The man I met within the walls of this temple was far from my stereotypical thoughts of Buddhist monks. The man I met looked like your plain old, average Joe, American man. Before I delve into the depths of my visit to this inspiring place, I need to sum up the Buddhist religion and why I chose to study this particular group of people. First, Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion based off of the idea that there is a path that one can take to achieve enlightenment, instead of believing in a god or multiple gods. Buddhism began with
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Fourth, is that you will find salvation through your efforts. If you are a diligent Buddhist and you work at the Eightfold Path to achieve enlightenment, you will be rewarded; you just need to have patience. Finally, there are no supernatural miracles, no water into wine, no parting of the Red Sea, just what goes on down here on plain old earth. In fact, at one point, the Buddha says “Those who attempt to work miracles are not my disciples”. This tells you just how serious the Buddha is about his focus on the natural and this-worldly things. Now that the basics have been laid out, time for why I chose to study Buddhism. Buddhism has been in my life for as long as I can remember, if only minimally. My father subscribed to a Buddhism magazine called Tricycle, more of an Americanized look at Buddhism. Moreover, the teachings of Buddhism and its focus on the here and now, how you treat people around you, and how you act towards people, have always been appealing to me. This opportunity fell into my lap and I was more than happy to take the chance to learn about something I had always known too little about. When I approached the temple, I immediately got a feel for an organized group of people simply by the way they approached the trimming of the trees and plants. Everything seemed to have a purpose and seemed to play off each other. The trees, with circles of branches only, seemed to perfectly accent the