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Traditional Practice of Buddism in Asia - Essay Example

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Buddhism as practiced by contemporary Americans, contrasting their practice with more traditional practices in Asia Buddhism, based upon the teachings of Siddhartha or Lord Buddha is interconnected with self realization, without the help of a mediator. To be specific, this unique characteristic of traditional practice of Buddhism in Asia was helpful to influence the world, especially America…
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Traditional Practice of Buddism in Asia
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Download file to see previous pages Thesis statement: The contrast study proves that Buddhism practiced by contemporary Americans and traditional practices of Buddhism in Asia are different due to the difference in the role of women in religious matters, difference between text-based and meditation-centered practice, difference between traditional and reinterpreted Buddhism, and cultural differences (special references to American and Asian Buddhist practices). Buddhism practiced by contemporary Americans Buddhism practiced by contemporary Americans is a hybrid variety of Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Cambodian, Thai and Burmese Buddhist traditions. Seager made clear that “There are many forms of American Buddhism and many different Buddhist rituals, most of which have their origins in Asia but are being transplanted and adapted to the United States” (4). Besides, trade and commerce played an important role in the spread of Buddhist practice in America. To be specific, the American merchant ship, namely ‘The Empress of China’ aiming to expand trade and commerce with China, reached Canton in the year 1784 and introduced Buddhism in America. In addition, the immigrants from China who happened to reach the mainland of America in 1820s spread Buddhist practices in America. The World parliament of Religions (Chicago, 1893) deeply influenced the spread of Japanese Buddhism in America. Later, the influx of Tibetan immigrants to America due to Chinese holocaust in Tibet introduced Tibetan Buddhist practice in America. The instability in the Asian nations like Laos and Thailand resulted in the large scale immigration of Asians to America. Besides, this resulted in the introduction of Theravada tradition of Buddhism in America. So, Buddhism practiced by contemporary Americans is not rigid but flexible. To be specific, the amalgamation of different Buddhist traditions deeply rooted in the Indian Buddhism is the foundation of the Buddhist practices in contemporary America. This helped the American Buddhism to accept the core elements of American culture. Traditional practice of Buddhism in Asia The traditional practice of Buddhism in Asia is based upon Gautama Buddha’s preaching. Within this context, Buddhism does not believe in the existence of the God. Instead, Buddhism proclaims that one can attain salvation or ‘moksha’ through mediation. The Buddhist philosophy or the teachings of Gautama Buddha is the core aspect of the traditional practice of Buddhism in Asia. Besides, the traditional practice of Buddhism in Asia is able to incorporate different cultural aspects. To be specific, the Indian Buddhism can be considered as an extension of Hinduism. For instance, most of the practices of Indian Buddhism are deeply rooted in the practices of Hinduism. The only difference is that Hinduism believes in the existence of God but Buddhism discards the same. Within this context, Buddhism accepted some elements of Hinduism and became popular beyond Indian context. This characteristic of assimilation was helpful for Buddhism to spread to the different parts of Asia. Swearer made clear that “Buddhist monks in Southeast Asia have taken leadership roles in causes that have led to both direct and indirect political consequences” (132). In China, Japan, Tibet and other Asian nations, Buddhism accepted ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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