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3 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2012 - 3:33PM #1
dnr20
Posts: 3
hello,
I am a college student in a "religions of the world" class. I am working on a Buddhism Profile. I have  a few questions I would like to ask if someone would be interested in taking the time to answer them for me. Thanks
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 23, 2012 - 4:47PM #2
dnr20
Posts: 3

My Questions are


1).  Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your religion?


2). How does your religion effect your life? Does it effect your social  or working life?


3). What brought you to become a Buddhist?


4). Do you have a sacred place, where you go specially to worship?


5). What are your thoughts on the Buddha? Buddha as a god?


6). Do you participate in alms giving or alms begging or anything similar to these?


7). Do you do a lot of meditation? If you do could you describe it?


8).What are some of your normal traditions you participate in (like riturals etc.)?


9). Are you more of a tradtional or nontraditional Buddhist and why do you think this way?


10). Based on your religion what are your thoughts on marriages, do you have any specific rules?


11). In our textbook it states "all living beings are buddhas endowed with wisdom and virtue" do you believe this statement, why or why not?


12). What are your thoughts about eating meat?


13). A lot of people say Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar do you think this is true, why or why not?


14). Do you try to educate a lot of people about Buddhism?


15). If you had to choose what would you say is your favorite part of your religion?


Thank you to anyone who takes the time to answer these it is greatly apprecitated. :)

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2012 - 11:34PM #3
Ferretling
Posts: 254

1).  Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your religion?


I'll be 44 in June. I'm a Zen Buddhist living in the Chicago area. I'm a lesbian liberal former ice hockey goalie (before I killed my knees). I like ferrets, cats, and dogs. I'm a triplet and the other two of the set are identical brothers. My family are all Roman Catholic. I was Catholic until the age of 15. Then I became, successively, Wiccan, eclectic pagan, Asatru, with periods of searching in between. Buddhism is the first religion I have really managed to internalize and integrate into my day to day life. I write haiku. I've been srtudying Buddhism for several years, and have been practicing Zen for a bit over a year. I like chocolate, sci-fi, fantasy, and Chicago-style pizza.


2). How does your religion effect your life? Does it effect your social  or working life?


That's a hard one to answer succinctly. I would say it is not so much that my religion affects my life as that it has become entwined with it. I'm not Buddhist just when I'm at the temple. So I try to be mindful. I try to follow the Eightfold Path. I try to follow the teachings of the Buddha. I meditate. I have become a more mindful person, a more compassionate person. At work, I tend to get far less upset than I used to about petty things. I just say, "It is what it is." I see the lessons in daily life. I told my sensei (teacher) it's kind of like having this weird cross between Yoda and Mr. Miyagi living in my head. I appreciate my friends more, and I am better at accepting the things they do that still, admittedly, annoy the crap out of me.


3). What brought you to become a Buddhist?


I wanted to be a nicer person. I wante to be a more compassionate person. I was looking for something deeper spiritually, and I knew I could only find it inside me. However, in the beginning, I started meditating because I have been unemployed and I had to move in with my parents. We don't exactly get along, and to say that it was getting difficult coping with living with them is a massive understatement. I thought meditation might help. It has.


4). Do you have a sacred place, where you go specially to worship?


Well... There's nothing I particularly "worship", so the wording of the question doesn't quite work. Our temple has three regular meditation sessions a week, and so I go every Sunday I can manage. As far as my daily meditation, I sit wherever is comfortable, but I don't have somewhere permanent, because I am still living with the parents. I have meditated on the bus and in the woods as well.


5). What are your thoughts on the Buddha? Buddha as a god?


The Buddha was an enlightened but very human man. He was not and is not a god. We all have Buddha-nature, but this is nothing divine.


6). Do you participate in alms giving or alms begging or anything similar to these?


Not exactly. I don't beg for alms. I give to those in need when  have the money to do it, or I give of my time. I did this before I became Buddhist, and it fits in with my practice.


7). Do you do a lot of meditation? If you do could you describe it?


Meditation is the basis of Soto Zen (my particular sect of Zen. I sit (cross-legged on a cushion or kneeling when I can, otherwise sitting in a chair) silently, unmoving. I breathe in, I breathe out. In the temple we sit facing the wall. At home I often do as well. I am alert, aware, and not specifically thinking. When thoughts come I acknowledge them and let them go. (Ideally this is how it works, at any rate.) That's pretty much it. I sit and think non-thinking. It's not very exciting.


8).What are some of your normal traditions you participate in (like riturals etc.)?


Well, there's spring and fall O'Higan, which is the celebration of the equinoxes. There's Buddha's birthday. There's O-bon, the festival of the dead. There's Bodhi Day -- the day the Buddha was enlightened. As far as ritual goes, it's not that much different from our regular service. There is a bit less meditation that day, there is a longer dharma talk, there is different chanting, there is more offering of incense. And after the service we go out to lunch together.


9). Are you more of a tradtional or nontraditional Buddhist and why do you think this way?


I think I'm a pretty run-of-the-mill American Zen Buddhist. That has both traditional and non-traditional elements. Zen in America is relatively new in comparison to Zen in Japan or Buddhism in general, so it's not all that easy to answer.


10). Based on your religion what are your thoughts on marriages, do you have any specific rules?


Don't misuse sexuality. That's the big thing. Honestly, what others do in their marriages as long as it is between consenting adults is really none of my business.


11). In our textbook it states "all living beings are buddhas endowed with wisdom and virtue" do you believe this statement, why or why not?


Well, yes, I do believe this. We all have innate Buddha-nature. Finding it is part of meditation. We all have the capacity to be fully realized, fully enlightened beings. Or, in another way of looking at it, we already are, but we just have to realize fully that this is true.


12). What are your thoughts about eating meat?


I try to get meat from animals that have been well cared-for and killed humanely. I do this whenever I can afford to. In all honesty, though, whether I eat meat or eat vegetarian, something has to die for me to live. Who am I to say the lives of animals are worth more than those of plants? However, I can understand the vegetarian viewpoint. I'm an omnivore. It is what it is.


13). A lot of people say Buddhism and Hinduism are very similar do you think this is true, why or why not?


I don't know enough about Hinduism to answer this question.


14). Do you try to educate a lot of people about Buddhism?


A lot of people? No. I answer questions my friends ask me. Sometimes I'll participate in forum discussions. But I'm still learning, too. Well, it's a lifetime of learning, really. Or... unlearning. Take your pick.


15). If you had to choose what would you say is your favorite part of your religion?


Sitting and drinking tea after meditation. Chanting the Heart Sutra. The feeling of peace after meditation. The smell of incense in my hair.


Feel free to ask any other questions that might come up; I hope this was useful.


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3 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 8:34AM #4
dnr20
Posts: 3

This is very useful, thank you for your help!

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