Saturday, April 18, 2020

Religion Paper Rusy Riggs essay rough draft Essays - Religion

Rusy Riggs 3/15/18 Religion 101 Buddhism : Chenrezig Deity I attended a Buddhist religious service at the Gampopa Center in Annapolis, Maryland. The service I attended was a Compassion Buddha Practice, based on the teachings of Chenrezig , one of the Buddhist deities. Chenrezig is considered the embodiment of compassion in Tibetian Buddhism, and is one of the most popular Buddhist deities after Buddha himself. I chose Buddhism because I wanted to understand why Buddhist s fo llow the Buddha even though they do not consider him to be a god. I attended a Tibetan Buddhist Temple in Annapolis to get a visual understanding of how Buddhist s practice their religion and what they do in their service . At t he event I attended , we practiced the Chenrezig d eity, the Buddha of Compassion. Chenrezig is considered the patron Bodhisattva in Tibet. In Tibetan Buddhism , the Chenrezig is considered to be the embodiment of the compa ssion of all Buddha's . For this event we used the Chenrezig text, which is a small packet of texts. This is a very common practice in Buddhism that Tibetans use for meditation. In the Chenrezig , everything was and still is written in Pali , which is the original language in Buddhist culture. To understand what happened at the Buddhist Temple one must first understand the Chenrezig deit y, the images used in the worship practice , and the ways in which Buddhism tries to educate its followers . The Gampopa Center is upstairs in a small office building in Annapolis. I arrived there at 7 pm for the Compassion Buddha Practice service, which was an hour and a half long. Th e service was conducted by Karen, who was friendly and happy to have me there as a guest. She explained that they often have students attend services to learn about Buddhism. Karen began by describing some of what we saw around us in the room. There was a sort of altar on which was a statue of Buddha . In front of Buddha was seven bowls of water, called water offerings. Behind Buddha were seven more bowls of water. Going from left to right the bowls are water for washing, water for drinking, water for flowers, water for incense, water for light, water for perfume , and water for music. In the Seven Branch Prayer these vessels of water are verbally offered. The most important object in the templ e is the statue in the center of Siddhartha Gau tama , also known as the Buddha . Siddhartha atta ined enlightenment under a fig t ree at a village in Northern India. He sat for forty nine days w ith demons and devils trying to stop Siddhartha from achieving enlightenment. He taught what is known in Buddhism as the " Middle Way ", a path of moderation between extremes. What I saw was just one of many eminations of the Buddha . Another statue in the room was the Chenrezig statue. Its four arms and h ands represent the f our immeasurables: loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Karen explained that the Buddhist ceremony is regimented, much in the same way a Catholic Mass is structured and follows an order. There are specific steps that must be followed for the Chenrezig deity . I sat on a mat and a pillow with the Chenrezig text in front of me. To read the text you must follow b y reading to the bottom, then flipping the page up and read to the bott om again and so on. We began by taking Refuge Bodhisattva , which was repeated three times. Next , we generated a visualization, then we said prayers. We only di d two prayers in the Chenrezig t ext. The two are the Seven Branch Prayer which is the offer ing prayer and Om Mani Padme Hu ng . The prayers were said first in English, then repeated in the native language of Buddhism. Afterwards we had a ten m inute meditation. Meditation in Buddhism is everything. T he reason we meditate with the Chenrezig deity is to be come more compassionate . There is a certain way to meditate to achieve

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