DaVonna Jones, Esmeralda Rangel,
Justin Eoff, Cliff Martin, Thomas Sawyer
REL/133 World Religious Traditions I
University of Phoenix
February 25, 2010
Eastern Religious Traditions
Eastern religions and their unique belief systems are transforming many social and religious thoughts into an assortment of means for acquiring and developing innovative and contemporary spiritual growth. One of the more influential shifts in mixing religious traditions into western religious cultures may well be considered ritualistic applications, acceptance, and practicing of meditation. Freely borrowing the principles of eastern religious traditions allows an individual extended opportunity to open a connection with his or her chosen God, or Supreme Being, by developing positive emotions, and providing a mental calmness; mean while establishing an acute mental strength within oneself. This practice of clearing the mind, projects an unfragmented focus into the inner self and ones mental intuitiveness, enabling a sharpness and keen ability to stimulate mental alertness, and even suggesting the possibility for mental self-healing. With such widened expressions of religious flexibility, an improved and more comprehensive understanding of diverse truths of belief systems are capable of being discovered. Additionally, through the use of multiple religious observances, one can bear witness to how such effects of Hinduism and Buddhist traditions of meditation, has transformed and enhanced traditional rituals in western religious cultures. Even medicinal benefits can be achieved through the use of advanced breathing techniques, energy practices, and other mental, and physical stimulus. The following synopsis will demonstrate the effects of how ancient beliefs and traditions have produced influences of varying proportions on western civilization.
Many eastern religions play an important role in modern medicine. In the past, western medicine has incorporated eastern medicine paralleling different sacred rituals. Many Eastern religions have given birth to a medical practice of their own; one such example includes Taoism. Taoism believes in studying nature and how man is affected by its healing effects. From this adherence to medicinal belief rose the practice of acupuncture, which consists of generating a “flow of energy,” and how those flows affect the body (Articles base, 2007). Acupuncture, another form of medicinal equivalency, has currently attracted attention and notoriety world-wide. Those who have experienced this sensation have claimed that it leaves one with a feeling of exhilaration. A study conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, who promotes acupuncture as having medicinal value, supports its true worth by assisting with such anxieties and medical dilemmas as depression during pregnancy. According to Rachel Manber, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, stated “They hope the results will raise awareness of the problem of depression during pregnancy and provide patients and physicians and alternative to antidepressants” (Manber, 2010).
As acupuncture has become popular among western cultures, other configurations of spiritual healing have surfaced, for example meditation and yoga. Through mediation, Siddhartha Gautama, otherwise known as Buddha, was the first person to experience full spiritual enlightenment, primarily due to the deliberate techniques applied. Several ways that meditation can be performed come in everyday tasks such as reading, walking, swimming, and working out. “From meditation we learn to observe the sensation...