My World Religions Report
How different or the same is Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism, and what makes a person choose one over the other? In this paper we will first look at the history of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. Second, this paper will look at an interview conducted by a Christian of a practicing Tibetan Buddhist. Last, this paper will compare and contrast what was learned in the interview as to the differences and similarities of Christianity and Tibetan Buddhism. First, this paper will look at the history of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. According to (Aldenderfer, 2001) “Buddhism underwent a renaissance in the tenth and eleventh centuries in the unlikeliest of places: the barren stretches of far western Tibet and re-established a purer form of Buddhism.” Prince Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Shakyamuni Buddha, the Awakened One, first taught the Dharma in the 6th century B.C. in India. Buddhism was brought to Tibet after the death of the Buddha by the Indian meditation mast Tilopa, Naropa the Tibetan translator Marpa, the Tibetan poet-saint Milarepa, and Gampopa, a monk and physician who began the Kagyu monastic tradition. The Kagyu Lineage is one of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism, and traces its history back to these great masters. The Kagyu Lineage is often called "The Whispered Lineage" because its highest teachings are still passed in an unbroken line from teacher to student since the days of the Buddha. Second, this paper will look at an interview conducted by a Christian of a practicing Tibetan Buddhist. Stephen Mcafee a practicing Christian conducted this interview of Michael Jurnquist a practicing Tibetan Buddhist on October 16, 2010 at 10:05am. The location of the interview was 1258 Mcduff Ave South Jacksonville, Florida 32205 at the Karma Thegsum Choling “Tibetan Buddhist Practice Center”.
Stephen: “Good Morning and thanks for taking the time to talk to me this morning.” Michael: “Good Morning to you as well and it is great to talk to you this morning” (M. Jurnquist, personal communication, October 16, 2010.) Stephen: “The first question I have is what made you choose the Tibetan Buddhist religion” Michael: “I chose the Tibetan Buddhist religion because it felt right to me. I spent some time looking at other religions and none seemed to fix my personal wants or needs. I spent seven years of sitting meditation before I decided to go through the process of introduction.” (M. Jurnquist, personal communication, October 16, 2010.)
Stephen: “When you say the process of introduction, that leads me to my next question of what is the practice of becoming a member of Tibetan Buddhism.” Michael: “The process of introduction for the first time is called Refuse and we officially become a Buddhist by doing so. In doing so, we recognize and confirm our Buddha nature, the potential for basic goodness that we all share as sentient beings. When we take refuge, we also acknowledge that our destination is Buddha hood. We are saying we will begin to follow the Lord Buddha who already attained liberation from suffering. We take refuge in Buddha as our ultimate destination. In doing so, we confirm our potential. If we did not possess the potential to become free and liberated from suffering, then it would be useless, impossible, and foolish to try to become liberated. Since we are all Buddha by nature, however, every one of us possesses the potential for liberation, freedom, and enlightenment.” (M. Jurnquist, personal communication, October 16, 2010.)
Stephen: “That is interesting, and that kind of leads me to my next question of to whom or to what do you worship to?” Michael: “That is a kind of tricky question. The Tibetan Buddhist does not worship any one or anything. We honor the Lord Buddha with perfect patience and compassion as a middle pathway to enlightenment. In some area people call us...