Expression of Buddhism Practices in the United States
University of Phoenix
World Religious Traditions I REL 133
Buddhism in the United States
The exploration of Buddhism, and how its practices will be expressed, as it moves into America will indeed be an interesting topic. Questions will arise while concepts and beliefs will be tested. As Buddhism spreads in America will the religion endure change, becoming more casual and gender equal? Some thought is that Buddhism will be scientifically compatible enough to intrigue those who believe in modern day medicine, but need the soul and spirit treated in the same instance. This will cause a connection between science and spirit. Buddhism offers the idea a great deal of areas are considered to be a miracle in life. The expectation is that Buddhism will have a significant psychological impact with these concepts as the culture integrates into the West (Bauerle, 2000). Introduction
The development and history of Buddhism is a very interesting journey. “The one who became Buddha was born about 563 B.C.E.” (Fisher, 2003, p. 141). Over time Buddhism evolved into different denominations containing various interpretations of the teachings. Buddhism moved across the lands and into the hearts of people with various backgrounds. During the evolvement of Buddhism it eventually reached the United States where is has secured its importance in American’s lives, even those with no Asian history at all (Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, 2008).
Some have derived the name “American Buddhism” since its arrival in the United States. Buddhist believers consider this to be just a label. Buddhists in America do see their religion growing and multiplying, due in part to technology today. Buddhism is considered to be in its infant stages in American, however, with media development the history and practices are easily accessed. More American’s today are interested in what Buddhism has to offer their body and spirit (Heartland Sangha American Buddhism, 2008).
Hinduism and Buddhism both originated in the Indian subcontinent. They share a significant history which entangles a strange relationship. Before finding his own path, Buddha was raised in a traditional Hindu family and approached Hindu gurus trying to find answers to suffering. With many similarities and differences both beliefs have obtained their own significance in the religious world. Traveling across the lands practicing their beliefs, they both strive for acknowledgment and respect just as many others religions do (Jayram, V., 2007).
This discussion will reflect on the history of Buddhism and its development. It will look at how Buddhism is practiced in the United States and how those practices may evolve. The topic will also reflect on Hinduism comparing it with the beliefs, development, evolvement and practices of Buddhism. It will offer interesting and valuable information in regard to the importance and relevance of Buddhism in today’s America. History of Buddhism
The history of Buddhism began some 2,500 years ago with Siddhartha Gautama also known as Buddha or the Enlightened One. He was born in Lumbini a northern part of India in the year 580 BC, although his exact birth and death times are uncertain (Buddhist Temples, 2008). Siddhartha left home at the age of 29 leaving behind his wealth, position and family to become a monk in search of enlightenment, which he eventually achieved through an assortment of meditation and discipline (Pearson, 2005). Throughout life Siddhartha set out on a journey to teach people the path of enlightenment, which would set them free from the cycle of life and death.
With time Buddhism spread to several countries of the world, which resulted in the development of a religion. Buddhism passed on from India to China and East Asia in 50 CE, then to Japan in 550 CE. Later Buddhism peaked in China around 589 CE, then to Tibet in 609 CE...