Buddhism

Creating a Mandala

Creating a MandalaIn Vajrayana Buddhism, the mandala (“circle”) serves as a diagram of the cosmos. Creating a sand mandala can take weeks and requires intense concentration, but the ritual practice requires the mandala be destroyed or dismantled after its completion. This emphasizes the impermanence of all created things.... Read more about Creating a Mandala

Sesshin: A Meditation Retreat

Sesshin: A Meditation Retreat

Intensive Zen meditation retreats, or sesshins, such as one in Mt. Temper, New York, are designed for participants to focus intensively on monastic Buddhist practice and meditation. Retreats include many rituals to allow students to fully immerse themselves in their practice—even during mealtime.... Read more about Sesshin: A Meditation Retreat

One Hand Clapping?

One Hand ClappingThe Chinese Chan, Korean Son, and Japanese Zen traditions emphasize meditation practice. In addition, other practices are commonly used, such as the presentation of koans, or questions given by a master to a student, intended to break students free of conceptualizing thoughts that are obstacles to enlightenment.... Read more about One Hand Clapping?

Building a Pure Land on Earth

Building a Pure Land on Earth

Pure Land Buddhists pay respect to Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, who created a paradise for Buddhist devotees called the “Land of Bliss.” Pure Land Buddhists in America seek to create a Pure Land here on Earth through ritual acts of devotion, care for animals and human beings, study, meditation, and acting compassionately in the public sphere.... Read more about Building a Pure Land on Earth

Devotion to Guanyin

Devotion to Guanyin

The compassionate bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, also known as Guanyin, is central to the practice of Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhists in America. A bodhisattva is an enlightened one who remains engaged in the world in order to enlighten all beings, and Buddhists channel the bodhisattva Guanyin by cultivating compassion for all beings in the world.... Read more about Devotion to Guanyin

Becoming a Monk

Becoming a Monk

The many streams of Buddhism differ in their approaches to monasticism and initiation rituals. For example, is it common in the Theravada tradition for young men to become novice monks as a rite of passage into adulthood. In some Mahayana traditions, women can take the Triple Platform Ordination and become nuns. Meanwhile, in some Japanese traditions, priests and masters can marry and have children.... Read more about Becoming a Monk

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