Axia College of University of Phoenix
HUM130 Religions of the World
January 7, 2010
Overview Through out this course, many different religions have been discussed, and many facts of each that were unknown to me previously, have been communicated and explained to me through our instructor, text, and discussions with fellow students. While many of these religions had interesting histories and figures, the one that intrigued me and stood out from the rest, was Buddhism. I had the pleasure of visiting a Buddhist meditation center in Seattle, and sat down and discussed the basic principles and beliefs of Buddhism with one of the meditation center practitioners. I will explain in this report the foundation and important figures within Kadampa Buddhism, and how they formed this particular branch of Buddhism; the meditation center and the daily practices; the practitioner that I interviewed and how Buddhism has transformed his life; compare and contrast Kadampa Buddhism with Islam; and conclude with a brief summary of what I personally learned from this experience.
Buddhism started more than 2000 years ago in India by a man who grew up with every worldly desire that a human could want, but it was these desires, and seeing the “four sights,” that drove him away from his family and his wealth. He lived a life of poverty and suffering, which he believed would be the way to find total liberation from suffering. Realizing this was not leading him to enlightenment, he began to practice the Middle Way, which is neither self indulgence nor self denial. Through this practice he finally experienced Supreme Enlightenment. A brief summary of his life is described by the Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book, Meeting the Buddhas.
“In northern India in 624 BC a baby was born to Queen Mayadevi and King...