EL29 Mindfulness Meditation

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1 EL29 Mindfulness Meditation Lecture 2.5: Buddhism moves to the West Quick check: How much can you recall so far? Which of the following countries is NOT a Tantra country? a) India b) Tibet c) Mongolia d) Nepal! Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of Trantra? Faster, but riskier path to enlightenment Importance of the Lama or teacher Importance of mindful breathing Importance of ritual and ini:a:ons 1

2 Lecture Overview Evolution, distribution and diffusion Belief system Meditation practices Icons and symbolism Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging.! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular.! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. 2

3 Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging.! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular.! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. Epistemology and religious hierarchies: Buddhist Asian (traditional) Meditators (central to theology & philosophic interpretation) Epistemology: from meditational practice, Buddha Dharma & Sangha Religious scholars & philosophers (frequently meditators themselves) Devotional (praying for luck, chanting Buddha s name, generally not committed to meditation) Buddhism - Asia 3

4 Secular Meditation hierarchies: North America Meditators Institutes lead by Professors or health care professionals Approved satellite institutes following the same therapy Psychology, neuroscience researchers (not usually meditators themselves) Clients or patients suffering from trauma and other disorders) Evolution of Buddhism! Number of schools & sects tends to rise over time true of most religions.! More philosophical and scholarly ideas get added on to the original teachers ideas.! Complexity rises. 4

5 The Spread of Buddhism! Within two centuries after the Buddha died, Buddhism began to spread north and east into Asia! To Europe & N. America in the 19 th to 20 th centuries! By 13 th century Buddhism had disappeared from India or absorbed into Hinduism Buddhism came to N. America in waves and by individuals teachers Conflict & Opportunity Waves:! Chinese workers in the West 1850s.! Japanese internees after WWII Jodo Shin tradition! Korean conflict in the 50s, brought Zen! Tibetan refugees: 1959, & 1980s! Vietnam & Laos conflict post 1975 refugees.! Cambodian conflict post 1980s refugees. Individuals:! 1893 CE World s Parliament of Religions! 1915 CE World Buddhist Conference San Francisco! 1966 CE Thich Nhat Hanh to America Zen! 1970 CE Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche to America Tibetan Buddhism! 1991 CE Dalai Lama in Madison Square Garden, New York 5

6 Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging.! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular.! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. Buddhist traditions come to the West pretty much intact (for awhile at least) 6

7 Buddhism in the West" Over the past two centuries, especially since the later half of the 20 th century, Buddhism has made inroads into the Western world through! Immigration of Asian peoples who have brought their diverse forms of Buddhism to the West! Western followers who tend to adopt meditation practices and the philosophy rather than more devotional forms of Buddhism Many such western followers remain within their own faith traditions, finding Buddhism to be a complement to rather than in conflict with other religions The two groups remain, mostly, independent of one another 7

8 Epistemology and religious hierarchies: Buddhist North American Meditators (central to theology & philosophic interpretation) Retreat Centers or Small Sanghas lead by Eastern or Western teacher Small group of dedicated monks Retreat or Small Sangha participants (part-time) Epistemology: from the Leader (plus, individual meditational practice, Buddha Dharma & Sangha) Religious scholars & philosophers (almost always senior meditators trained by the leader and serious meditators themselves) Buddhism - Asia Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging.! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular.! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. 8

9 The 14 th Dali Lama Potala Place, Tibet! Has become the de facto spokesperson for Buddhism today kind of like the Pope of Buddhism!! Most popular world leader today (without an official country) leading a government in exile since 1959 (in India).! Written many books and a major influence in Buddhism in N. America.! Sympathetic to scientific advancements and how Buddhism may need to change. Chögyam Trungpa - Tantra! Recognized both by Tibetan Buddhists and by other spiritual practitioners and scholar as a preeminent teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.! He was a major, albeit controversial, figure in the dissemination of Tibetan Buddhism to the West, founding Vajradhatu and Naropa University and establishing the Shambhala Training method.! Thousands of followers.! Plagued by alcoholism, womanizing & Tantric sex 9

10 Thich Nhat Hanh Plum Village, France! Zen monk from Viet Nam, studied at Princeton, U.S.! Founder of Engaged Buddhism and written over 40 books in English.! Teaches a hybrid approach approach that combines a variety of traditional Zen teachings with insights from Theravada, Mahayana and Western psychology to offer a modern light on insight meditation.! Nominated by Martin Luther King for the Nobel Peace Prize in Truc Lam Monastery, Edmonton ST, Edmonton! Hybrid model based on Thich Nhat Hanh teachings.! Asian immigrant type.! Serves Vietnamese & English Sangha Vietnamese community chanting ST, Edmonton Abbott Phap Hoa Western community meditating 10

11 Tibetan teachers in Edmonton Street, Edmonton, Alberta Kushok Lobsang Dhamchöe was born in the remote valley of Kyedong, Tibet in the mid 1950s. Ratachatham Temple-Thai Buddhist Temple Ave NW, Edmonton,! Serving the Thai community in Edmonton! Theravada tradition 11

12 Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery Edmonton (MBME) SHERBROOKE AVE NW, EDMONTON! Theravada Buddhist Tradition.! Website: mahamevnawaedm onton.com/ contact/! Contact: Quick check: How much can you recall so far?! Which of the following is NOT a Buddhist temple in Edmonton? a) Truc Lam temple b) Edmonton Buddhist temple c) Gaden Samten Ling temple d) Ratachatham temple 12

13 Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries.! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging.! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular.! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. Buddhism in Canada Ling Yen Mountain Temple in Richmond, British Columbia,! About 370,000 Buddhist in Canada (1%).! Chinese laborers in the 19 th century were the first Buddhist in Canada! Then, Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhist in Vancouver early 20 th Century.! Then, waves of Asian Buddhists related to wars and individuals teachers coming to Canada. 13

14 Religious trends in Canada: Mainstream Christian churches losing participants Other religions like Buddhism growing immigrants bring their religion with them.! Some of the unaffiliated are turning to atheism more accepted now.! Some of the Unaffiliated are interested in exploring more secular spirituality, such as mindfulness meditation approaches. The growth and decline of religious numbers Religions by percentage increase (2013)

15 Attendance in mainstream churches dropping Religious trends in Canada: The number of unaffiliated growing! Linked to demographics every generation become less religious! Being male, single, and having a higher education tends to push people out of the pews

16 Religious trends in Canada: The number of unaffiliated growing Future trends in N. American Buddhism! Dharma without dogma! A lay-oriented sangha! A meditation-based and experiential tradition! Gender equality! A nonsectarian tradition! A simplified tradition! An egalitarian, democratic, and nonhierarchical tradition! A psychologically astute and rational tradition! An experimental, innovative, inquiry-based tradition strong linkages to scientific research.! A socially informed and engaged tradition! Continued emergence of non-buddhist secular applications in psychology, wellness, education and others. Charles S. Prebish is professor of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University: 16

17 Key Learnings:! Key Learning #1:. Evolution, diffusion & distribution: Buddhism started to come to Europe and North America in the mid-19 th century, but has become increasingly popular in the 20 th and 21 st centuries. Final quick quiz to consolidate your memory!! Key Learning #2: Beliefs: North American Buddhism was based on the various traditions we have discussed so far, but a uniquely North American belief system is also emerging. Name 3 prominent Buddhist leaders who have influenced North American Buddhism! Key Learning #3:. Meditation: Meditation styles in North America are based on a variety of traditions that came from Asia. High profile Buddhists, including the Dali Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and Chögyam Trungpa have had a very large influence on North American Buddhism. However, a non-buddhist secular mindfulness practice is also becoming very popular. Ok to chat with your neighbours! Key learning #4: Religious beliefs in Canada: Mainstream Christian religions are losing support in Canada and alternatives, including Buddhism, Islam, Hindu, Sikh, and even atheisms are gaining ground. Part 2: Hand s on practice - Lovingkindness 17

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