Minority Theravada Buddhism Religion in the US Essay

Pages: 4 (1281 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Religion  ·  Written: December 14, 2019

SAMPLE EXCERPT . . .
Ashadha full moon day is a festival that marks Buddha's renunciation of household life in order to pursue spiritual enlightenment (Bajracharya). Gumla festival is celebrated in the month of Dharma-masa. It is also known as the month of dharma practice. During this month, each monastery schedule programs such as dharma preaching and recitation of paritrana.

Theravada monks and nuns organize social welfare activities such as education training and free health camps (Bajracharya). Monasteries observe rain retreat for three months. Also, most of the monasteries organize free clinics, health campaigns, and have founded kindergarten and old age centers (Bajracharya).

Why Nationals Convert to Theravada Buddhism

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Some Americans convert to Theravada Buddhism because they are attracted to the philosophical doctrines of Buddhism and meditation. Meditation is an integral part of Buddhist and it can be practiced in any setting (Gilpin 231). Scholars have also described Buddha teachings as a rational system of philosophical and moral thought. It means Americans consider Theravada Buddhism as a modern religion that is compatible with scientific knowledge and the western way of life. Additionally, many of Buddhism teachings overlap with those of other faiths. So, it is the ideal religion for people looking for alternative spiritual life

Essay on Minority Theravada Buddhism Religion in the US Assignment

The beliefs and practices of Theravada Buddhism are similar to the predominant values and norms practiced in the United States. First, Theravada Buddhists are trained to “refrain from harming living beings” (BBC). The same rule applies in America; people value human life and the law prohibits murder. Second, they are trained to “refrain from taking that which is not freely given” (BBC). Honesty and integrity are the core values of western life. Third, Theravada Buddhists are required to “refrain from sexual misconduct” (BBC). Fourth, Theravada Buddhists are trained to “refrain from wrong speech such as lying, malicious gossip, harsh speech, and idle chatter” (BBC). Lastly, Theravada Buddhists are taught to “refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs, which leads to carelessness” (BBC).

Theravada Buddhism can act as a resource for an individual as well as collective identity of Asian immigrants. Since Theravada Buddhism was introduced in the United States by Asian immigrants, it provides a sense of cultural identity and continuity for Asian Americans. Second, the teachings of the Buddha are passed down from one generation to another. Third, Buddha teachings act as an individual resource because it teaches one on ways to end life suffering such as sickness and misfortunes. Lastly, the various forms of meditation practiced by the Theravada Buddhists help in calming the mind (BBC).

Conclusion

Theravada Buddhism was introduced in the United States by Asian immigrants in the 19th century. It is based on the Pali Canon and it consists of three sections: the Vinaya Pitaka, the Vinaya Pitaka, and the Abhidamma Pitaka. The religious practices of Theravada Buddhism include meditation, rain retreats, holiday festivals, pilgrimage visits to India and Nepal, and social welfare activities like free health camps and campaigns. Some Americans have converted to Theravada Buddhism because they are attracted to the philosophical doctrines of Buddhism and the various forms of meditation. Overall, the five teachings of the Buddha are identical to the values and norms practiced in the United States. They are 1) refrain from harming living beings, 2) refrain from taking that which is not freely given, 3) refrain from sexual misconduct, 4) refrain from wrong speech, and 5) refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs that cause carelessness.

Works Cited
  1. Bajracharya, Naresh M. "Vajrayana and Theravada Practices in Nepal Mandala for LUMBINI SYMPOSIUM." Academia.edu, 27 Jan. 2011, www.academia.edu/19620730/Vajrayana_and_Theravada_Practices_in_Nepal_Mandala_for_LUMBINI_SYMPOSIUM.
  2. BBC. "Theravada Buddhism." BBC - Home, 2 Oct. 2002, www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/subdivisions/theravada_1.shtml.
  3. Gilpin, Richard. "The use of Therav?da Buddhist practices and perspectives in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy." Contemporary Buddhism, vol. 9, no. 2, 2008, pp. 227-251.
  4. Keyes, Charles. "Theravada Buddhism and Buddhist Nationalism: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand." The Review of Faith & International Affairs, vol. 14, no. 4, 2016, pp. 41-52.
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