Axia University of University of Phoenix
HUM 130 Religions of the World
August 18, 2007
World Religions Report "Buddhism"
How can we begin to understand such a diverse and ancient religion? The width of Buddhism is immense. It is a religion without any written rules. Buddhism is based on self-discovery. Buddhists are born with the quest to find their true form. They believe that they are prisoners of the physical plain until they reach nirvana. Nirvana is the ultimate goal for a Buddhist (Buddhism, 2007). It is the state that saves them from all suffering and evil. They believe that only nirvana can remove them from the never-ending circle of life. Buddhists must conquer the mind before they could ever reach nirvana. The mind is full of lust and greed. A Buddhist eradicates temptations like greed and lust by rejecting the source of evil (Buddhism, 2007). They live independently from most of the luxuries required by westerners. They rely mainly on the basic necessities of life. By removing temptation, they gain more control of the mind (Buddhism). Buddhists are very spiritual about their surroundings. They cherish all living things. They would remove all living organism with such care before an area is used for construction. Reducing the suffering of others provides a meaning to their lives. They believe that all things have the right to live (Buddhism). By doing good things they ease the mind from all the suffering around them. Most religions believe in different dogmas. A dogma is an informed idea of what the gods look like. The Buddhist outsmarted the rest of the crowd by being the individual. They do not believe in god. A major misconception is where people think they worship Buddha. They only believe that the ideas of the first Buddha would lead them to nirvana. The first known Buddha was Gautama Siddharta (Buddhism, 2007). He was the first one to teach others the way of a Buddhist. Unfortunately his teachings were all orally and only passed on by later generations, causing many of his original ideas to be changed (Buddhism). Buddhists insist that karma plays an important part in their reincarnation. The reincarnation is the rebirth of a person into the next life. By reaching nirvana, the cycle stops and they are not reborn again. By living by the constant fear of karma, they live prosperous lives (Buddhism, 2007). They always try to find peaceful solutions to all problems. Buddhists are peaceful people but they are not pacifists. They will only turn to violence if they have to defend themselves (Buddhism).They loathe wars because it takes lives. To a Buddhist, every action on earth will have its consequences. Buddhists do not challenge other religions. They believe that by honoring other religions that they help their own religion. They will not argue with anyone about their religion. On the other said they will also not try and convert anyone to Buddhism. The Center I visited was the Diamond Way Buddhist Center in Albuquerque. The Buddhist center was a plain and simple building. The outside was concrete and glass. It basically looked just like any other building you would find in Albuquerque. The fact that it didn't stand out, surprised me because in the movies I have seen Buddhist live in monasteries which are in the county away from the city life. When I entered the lobby there was a living room style set up with various couches and chairs. Offices or possibly class rooms surrounded this area. I followed everyone to the stairs. At the top of the stairs we took our shoes off as a sign of respect to the Center. Removing my shoes told me this area is respected. Silently everyone filed upstairs through a winding staircase. The people in front of me where bowing toward the alter as a sign of respect. Not wanting to stand out I followed suit. The room was perfectly quiet except for the rustling of clothes as people filed in to sit. The...