Buddhism religion in Northeast Ohio

But the "Maha Council" (maha means “great” in Sanskrit) has created buzz and sparked soul-searching among members of the growing Buddhist religion in the United States for different reasons. Who speaks for "western Buddhism, " many attendees and observers of last weekend's event have asked, and how accurately and honestly are elder Buddhists passing on their knowledge to new generations?

What is the relation of U.S. Buddhists to those in India and other parts of Asia, where the spiritual practice was born from Hindu roots in the 5th century B.C.?

And in a society where traditional Buddhist concepts such as "mindfulness, " mental wellness and spiritual health are now a common part of corporate health programs, what role is left for Buddhism to play?

The questions highlight the growing pains of a religion that has gone from being a native practice of relatively small Asian immigrant populations who came to the U.S. in the 19th century to one that has been increasingly adapted by non-Asians since the 1950s to become one of the largest largest religions in the country. By low estimates that don’t count non-English speakers, Buddhism has more than 2 million adherents in the U.S. Hundreds of Buddhist meditation centers dot urban and rural American landscapes.

"A few decades ago, people would look at me with a weird face when I said I taught people about meditation for a living, " said conference organizer Jack Kornfield, who is known in the Buddhist community as a leader in the vipassana movement (named after a method of meditation that traces itself to Buddha). “Now, at the gas station or supermarket, people say, 'oh yeah, I could really use that.' "

Kornfield, a teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Marin County, Calif., and other big names in American Buddhism - many who came of age during the 1960s and encountered the religion through the hippie subculture before receiving formal training in India and East Asia - put together the council with an aim to unite and organize American Buddhists in similar ways to how Jewish, Muslim and other minority groups have coalesced around issues outside the theological. A similar gathering, which the Dalai Lama attended, happened 11 years ago at Spirit Rock, but large-scale meetings have since been sparse.

"The Buddhists in Thailand and Burma and the ones in China and the ones in Japan and Tibet, they develop within those cultures very independently. Here, we have all these different styles, " said Kornfield. "We want people across lineages meeting and learning with mutual respect."

The four-day retreat also discussed strategies for growth and more inclusion in American society.

That included a panel on the influence among non-Buddhists of "mindfulness, " a traditional practice of trying to maintain a day-to-day "calm awareness" of one’s body, sensations, thoughts and existence as one of several paths that Buddhists believe will together bring enlightenment.

Most attendees at the Maha Council were white, many were men, and the average age skewed toward the 50s. In addition to well-known American Buddhists such as Western Buddhist Teachers Network founder Lama Surya Das, Shambhala Sun Buddhist magazine publisher James Gimian and Calif.-based Everyday Zen Foundation founder Zoketsu Norman Fischer, lesser-known Buddhists were also among the crowd.

"I don’t always have a lot of interaction with other Buddhists outside my practice, " said Ari Goldfield, a 42-year-old meditation teacher from San Francisco who follows Tibetan Buddhism and attended with his wife. "But here, we got to talk to people from lots of paths and learn about their suffering as a way to experience unity."

THE STORY SPACE IS READY IN THE MODERN WORLD: Meditations, Musings, and Mindfulness Practices of The Irish Slovak Blue-Collar Buddhist Christian Pastor & Storyteller from Northeast Ohio (Volume I)

Study: Science and Religion Really Are Enemies After All  — BillMoyers.com
They are Atheists, though not “Materialists”. In fact many people question if Buddhism is a religion at all. (It is.

New Support Group Offers Buddhist-Based Addiction Recovery  — The Daily Planet
Buddhism is a religion born in ancient India in which meditation is a central tenet.

Popular Q&A

What are two major religious beliefs of the Buddhism religion?

Karma and Rebirth are two major beliefs for Buddhists.

Is Buddhism a religion or is it a belief?

It is neither a philosophy or religion.
It is a set of principles and practices that lead to the end of suffering.
It isn't necessarily a philosophy because:
Refuge in the 3 jewels
In Tibetean Buddhism there is Tantric Yoga(very misunderstood)
It isn't necessarily a religion because:
No creator God
No claim to have absolute/unchanging truth
No single book (Pali Canon, Mahayana Canon, etc. are compilations)

What beliefs are in the religion of Buddhism?

Guatama Buddha told his followers to not just do whatever he told them to, but to listen to his teachings and then meditate on them, and come to the truth about the best way to act themselves. What Buddhists believe is derived from what they learn about the true nature of reality through meditation. Many cultures which are predominantly Buddhist have laws based on Buddhist concepts. The Buddha did offer some precepts that guide how we should behave in order to more skillfully find our way to enlightenment. The most basic of these are: Don't kill. Don't steal. Don't engage in illicit sex…

What is Buddhism religion beliefs?

Enlightenment, right thinking all the time, right behavior all the time, and live on the middle way (not being materialistic). However most Buddhists don't follow that and need salvation just as much as everyone.

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