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Home » 2016 Summer Seminar » Meeks - Buddhism and Its Spread (Thur)

Movement in East Asia
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7/28/2016 12:26:50 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Buddhism
As someone relatively new to learning about religion I found the presentation interesting and thorough. There's so much information out there, its hard to prioritize. Something that kept popping up, today and in other lectures (and readings) is how a lot of the terminology used to label or catalog ideas are distinctly western and used out of convenience, and stem from the "modern" period of world history. Asking my students to think about bias, as much as possible, will be valuable for them as scholars and as thinkers, as they continue to grow as individuals. The uncertainty and ambiguity found in the study of "religion" is perfect for keeping my students feeling little unsettled and uncomfortable (to really stretch their minds) because so many of them have learned to rely on clear and definitive right and wrong, they have not developed critical thinking and communication skills. Today's lecture, especially, reminded me of that.
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7/28/2016 12:33:01 PM

gtyau
gtyau
Posts: 20
Subject: Material wealth
I wonder if there are correlations between wealth and religious beliefs followed, both contemporary and historically? Also, the world of "politics" and "governance" and religion has always had close connection, overt connection, but the world of "business" hasn't it seems. Or maybe I'm just not educated enough.
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7/28/2016 1:18:09 PM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject: Happiness
So much great stuff out of this morning. So many connections to other ideologies throughout the world & time that I can make with my students. One of my main goals in my classroom is to show my kids just how similar we all are and the the differences are nothing but superficial. We are made to separate ourselves through government agencies and media but once we get beyond those who want to divide in order to hold power over us, we can connect to each other in myriad ways.

Bonus, I now feel infinitely more prepared to teach even my 7th grade classes about Buddhism, especially since I'm a bodhisattva....
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7/28/2016 1:22:53 PM

mhagiwara
mhagiwara
Posts: 32
Subject: Buddhism's Influence
At lunch I had a short conversation with the Professor regarding a "newer" religion in Japan known as Tenri-kyo. When I first heard about it, no one was really able to explain to me the basics of the religion because, in Japan, it was regarded as a type of cult. Even though they had a city named after the religion in Nara Prefecture, there was no clear explanation of what the teachings were nor why it was looked down upon. When I brought this topic up with the Prof. Meeks, I asked whether or not this was a sect of Buddhism, and she answered that it was not. However she did say that it may have borrowed some of the core values about human beings from Buddhism. She mentioned that at the surface level, however, there was no clear relationship between the two groups. I am still very curious about Tenri-kyo and will continue to research this "new" religion through some of the suggested readings provided by Prof. Meeks.
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7/28/2016 3:03:13 PM

mmadruga
mmadruga
Posts: 23
Subject:
Dr. Meeks clarified many of the questions that I had about Buddhism. Particularly the Karma aspect of the religion, and the cyclical context of existence. Very effective and impressive presentation. Also, she explicated why Buddhism spread north into china rather than south into the country of origin of Buddhism.
edited by mmadruga on 7/28/2016
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7/28/2016 6:48:00 PM

EunjeeKang
EunjeeKang
Posts: 21
Subject: I believe it is true
I studied Asian History focused on China, especially Tang Dynasty. There might have been little bit of exaggeration, but many of Buddhist scripts written in Sanskrit were brought back to China and Indian linguists go to China to see those books.
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7/28/2016 7:00:48 PM

EunjeeKang
EunjeeKang
Posts: 21
Subject: Korean case
There are several sects of Korean Buddhism in Modern day Korea, and the latest sect is called One Buddhism. The largest sect is 'Chogye' and they have a university, but Buddhism in Korea does not take much role in business or education fields. There are number of reasons why it became like this, but the biggest reason is the last dynasty of Korea, Chosun, discriminated Buddhism so it became isolated from everyday life and elite society. It became more for women and lower class. However, Buddhism is still prevalent in Korean culture in many ways and they are still respected by non-Christians.
ex) Non-Christian Koreans' funerals have two parts. The first part is the 3-day-long funeral at a funeral home monastery which begins the day a person deceases. The second part is not much simplified than before, but families still gather together 49 days after the person died. I believe this process is very similar to Japan and China.
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7/28/2016 7:26:56 PM

juanae
juanae
Posts: 57
Subject:
Professor's Meeks presentation on the spread of Buddhism was extremely interesting. The idea that in order to facilitate the spread of Buddhism in Japan the Buddhasattvas were identified with the native deities, similar to colonial Latin America. The Spanish used Native Americans deities and have them assimilated to the Spanish's saints.
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7/28/2016 7:32:52 PM

juanae
juanae
Posts: 57
Subject:
I was surprised by the idea that Buddhism had trouble spreading into China, because they required shaved heads. The Chinese valued the natural body, and the hair from their parents. I can understand better why when the Mongols demanded Chinese shave the front of their heads, it was so traumatic. after today's lecture, it made mire sense.
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7/28/2016 7:35:10 PM

hlien
hlien
Posts: 20
Subject:
I was fascinate at the notion that those who practice different faiths can still reach Nirvana and become a Buddha.
But I am still unclear about many concepts, one of which is the differences between a Bodhisattva and a Buddha. According the definition I found online, "a Bodhisattva is a person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings." In that light, Mother Teresa can be seen as a Bohisattva. Is a Bohisattva then equivalent to a Saint in Western term? Could Mother Teresa be one of the manifestions of Guanyin? Moreover, does she then becomes a Buddha with her passing?
Another related question I have is regard to the possibilities of multiple Buddhas. If there are many of them, are they all equal, or is there a hierachy as to which Buddha is more enlightened? In other words, when Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa meets Guatama in Heaven, do they all sit on a round table and chat or would the late comers bow to the latter similar to the hierarchy depicted in Caodai?
I guess the only way I can find the answers is to get there myself, which in theory is possible but not probable - at least not in this lifetime for me. If anyone gets there first and finds the answers, please let me know.
edited by hlien on 7/28/2016
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7/28/2016 7:38:42 PM

juanae
juanae
Posts: 57
Subject:
Professor's Meeks presentation on Vietnamese religions in California was interesting. I had seen the eye of God on Asian paintings, but didn't understand why, the left eye is closer to the heart, which makes sense.
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7/28/2016 9:21:33 PM

nminassian
nminassian
Posts: 23
Subject: Introduction to Buddhist Teachings
I have learned a lot from Dr. Meeks' presentation. I will share the learned information with my students. I'm sure that they would be interested to learn that Buddha appears only when things go bad and people need to overcome suffering. Today's presentation also included terms such as Upanishads, moksha, samsara and so on, which will be interesting for my students to learn. I will also discuss the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism, what is Karma, and will probably discuss the Eightfold Path before creating our own classroom rules/student contract.
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7/28/2016 10:21:58 PM

jmallard
jmallard
Posts: 22
Subject:
I had no idea that Buddhism had a range of adoptions until today. While younger, I had a misconception that only Asians practiced Buddhism. It wasn't until I saw the movie based on Tina Turner's life, "What's Love Got to Do With It," that I learned that Tina Turner practiced Buddhism and even later made albums with different chants. Later, as a Lakers fan, I discovered that the famous head coach Phil Jackson was also a practicing Buddhist. I wonder which adoption of Buddhism do they practice. For students, I think it helps to see that people who are not of Asian descent love and practice Buddhism as well.
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7/31/2016 9:08:57 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: buddhism and its spread
It is so interesting to hear the history of how Buddhism spread in Asia area. Since I have so many friends are practicing Buddhism, I am very interested to know more about this religion. I went to Temples with my Mom when I was little, and went to Temples with friends after I grow up. I heard so many different ways to explained the Karma, the rules, but the never have change to learn the history about it.
I feel confused of a lot of things related to this religion, but it could be a very interesting project for my “Info process” computer class. I believe students will like to see how different this religion to their ow religion, and make some comparison.
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7/31/2016 9:21:00 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject:
@cgonzalez I think the meaning of donations to save the parents, is not counting the donation as “money” is counting the “points of the good practicing”. I been going to different Temples or Buddhist groups, I found a way to understand all these “transfer” can think as a deposit of “good points “ and “bed points”
That way I fell is easier to understand the punishments or the rewards. If we want the rewards can give to parents to use then we earn the “ goods points for nice to parents” too.
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7/31/2016 9:35:32 PM

ysun
ysun
Posts: 21
Subject: reply gtyau - buddhism
@ gtyau For your question: Do any business or industries operate with a Buddhist ideologies as backbone for its interactions with clients. In Taiwan, yes, it is happened in a lot of hospitals. Some of the Hospital has both Buddhist practice room and Christian pray room. In my father last month of life, he is in a public hospital’s hospices’ room. The Dr. in charge that department is a Buddhist nun; she became a nun after few years work in that hospital. Our family like the way she took care my father’s last month of life.
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8/4/2016 2:10:16 PM

nramon
nramon
Posts: 90
Subject: Connections between the Buddha and Christianity
  • As I heard about Buddhism during Professor Meeks’ lecture, one of the thoughts that became more prominent in my mind is the possible influences Buddhism had on Christianity. In learning more and more about Buddhism, I see a lot of parallels between Christianity and Buddhism and I am very curious to know if there has been any investigation that looks into what elements of Buddhism have shaped Christian culture. Buddhism came into being much more earlier than Christianity and this along with very active trade networks leads me to wonder if Christians heard about the elements of Buddhism and somehow shaped them to fit their theological framework and their population.

edited by nramon on 8/4/2016
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8/17/2016 11:52:24 PM

jmallard
jmallard
Posts: 22
Subject: The Zen Master
Anytime I hear of Zen, I automatically think of Phil Jackson who was referred as the " Zen Master" for his level of calmness as a NBA head coach. Many times while other coaches were exasperated while their team was down, whenever Phil Jackson's team was down he had this evident calm spirit and very rarely seemed to be anxious about anything while the game was being played. I think a great lesson for upper grades would be to compare the reading of San Francisco Zen and the actions to a few highlights of Phil Jackson and the Bulls or the Lakers game while the team was losing and perhaps needed a time out. Phil's mannerisms should be observed and compared to the article and how Zen is implemented into one's thought processes.
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8/19/2016 9:40:57 AM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject:
In the article "Bodhisattva Who Bestows Children", I was not especially surprised to see the link between Buddhist deities and Christianity. After all, Christianity has usurped many of its saints, feast days, and other important concepts from other religions in order to be the dominant belief system across the globe. What did surprise me was the change in gender of this Bodhisattva from male to female. Maybe it was the handiwork of the missionaries that came through that region...
The testimonials that are supplied in the article are pretty astounding.
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8/19/2016 10:46:57 AM

jschilp
jschilp
Posts: 24
Subject:
The article "Modern Buddhism" brings to light the way we as an American society shun what we are unfamiliar with. Even though we are supposed to be the great Melting Pot - or more modernly, a great salad bowl - we still are reluctant to accept differing viewpoints. It's kind of sad that it took the Vietnam War to bring Buddhism to some form of acceptance here but now that it is more in the limelight, it's time to show more and more people what Buddhism can offer. The idea that there were no priests to lead the people which meant less spread & less "leadership" of this new way. It is still my conjecture that if more people adopt Buddhist concepts, we might have a chance at becoming a more peaceful and accepting society.
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