Buddhists and Asians have been a huge part of Western society. They have influenced mainstream America for a very long time. They have also been sources of prejudice and discrimination. Who is to say that one religious practice is not as righteous as another? Whose race is superior to another? These questions will be answered later.
Buddhism is a religion based on compassion and serenity. They have no belief in a supreme being, but only in Buddha. Buddha was a human who achieved full enlightenment, or ultimate bliss, also called Nirvana. Buddhists believe in free will to commit good or evil acts much like Christians. Evil is defined as greed, acts of violence or any kind of hatred. When acts of evil are committed, you are reincarnated or rebirthed. If evil continues through lives, you will continue to be reincarnated.
Through Buddhism, you can also achieve salvation. It is gained from following the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are 1) the truth of suffering 2) the truth of the cause of suffering 3) the truth of the end of suffering 4) the truth of the path that frees us from suffering. The Eightfold Path is right view, right intention, right action, right speech, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
Buddhists believe that scientists should explain the universe and life. They have no claim of a supreme being, so they leave it up to the scientific population of explain the ways of how the world was created, although they
do say that it creates itself a million times each fraction of a second.
There have been some incidents of discrimination within the Buddhist religion. Some people do not understand this particular for of religion. Most people are very accepting. They accept the beliefs of compassion and love. Living a wholesome life to a Buddhist is a way of life. It is not just a way of practicing a religion on weekends. Some people do not have the constitution and dedication it takes to live that way. Because of that they do not understand the way of life.
Buddhism has affected American culture tremendously. Movie stars are now claiming to be practicing the Buddhist religion. Actor Steven Seagal has been a practicing Buddhist for several years. Although humble about his experiences, he meditates, and has spent 15 years studying martial arts, Zen and acupuncture (“Wildmind Buddhist Meditation”, 2007). There have also been scenes in movies where the religion is being practiced.
Despite Buddhism being a religion of peace, it has endured its times of discrimination. In 1949, China converted to Communist rule. This forced many Buddhist Monks to escape to Taiwan (Gale Virtual Reference Library, 2004). In 1965, the Cultural Revolution had begun. The destruction of Buddhist areas in China were led by Communist leader Mao Zedong. The end of Indian Buddhism was caused by the Turkic annihilation of Buddhist monasteries in India in 1202 (Gale Virtual Reference Library, 2004).
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