Buddhist Religion Experience: Personal Narrative Essay

1847 words - 7 pages

I was always fascinated in the Buddhist religion and this class assignment was a great opportunity for me to take advantage of my curiosity. I decided I would visit a Buddhist center. With the company of my mother, I went to the Diamond Way Buddhist Center in Miami. According to my interview with the Buddhist that instructed the meditation service, every Monday and Friday they have a meditation service for the 16th Karmapa meditation from 8:00pm to 8:30pm. This center is part of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism (Anonymous). Upon arriving, I realized that it was in someone’s home. Many Buddhist offer their homes for Buddhist centers and are unpaid for their services. However, they do accept donations. Before entering the house, we had to remove our shoes. When we entered I could smell the scent of incense burning. As presented in World-Faiths, removing your shoes before entering a Buddhist center or temple is a form of worship. Also, incense and candles are used to represent Buddha’s enlightenment (World-Faiths).
A man and a woman led us to a small room. The man wore jeans and a regular t-shirt and the women wore a colorful dress reaching her knees. The man later told us that he typically didn’t wear jeans, instead he is generally in a more relaxed and comfortable attire. In the small room, there were four quilts laid out on the floor with cushions to sit on. All of the small quilts faced one wall, which contained three statues and a couple of pictures. On the left side of the wall was a statue of Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. As stated in an article in World-Faiths, Buddhism was established upon Siddhartha’s teachings. He was an Indian prince who began his spiritual journey when he was 29 years old. After six years, he reached nirvana underneath the Bodhi tree in Northern India. This tree is now referred to as the tree of wisdom (Buddhism). The Buddhist instructor informed us that Buddha was just a title given to those that reached enlightenment. He also clarified that the statue in the center was of Chenrezig Buddha. Chenrezig Buddha is known as the Buddha of compassion. Under that statue was the Vajrapani statue, which is the protector of Buddha. This statue looks very fierce in nature in order to show the strength and power of Buddha. To the right was the picture of the founder of Diamond Way Buddhism centers, Lama Ole Nydahl, and the founder’s wife who had passed away. The instructor explained to us that Nydahl was a very inspirational and motivational Buddhist who was currently on tour all over the world for Buddhist teaching purposes (Anonymous).
We waited a little while to see if others would arrive to the service since it had just been me and my mother present at this service. The instructor explained to us that Monday nights were not as popular as Friday nights. After 15 minutes where no one arrived, the instructor decided to commence the service. Being the only two at the service was quite beneficial because we got one on one...

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