What is Buddhism?
Learn the essence of Buddhism in this 2 ½ hour seminar, “Understanding the essence of Buddhism.” You’ll lean its values and how it contributes to the effective functioning of the society. It is a part of 13 seminars for 13 religions in 13 months organized by the Center for Pluralism.
Program: Understanding Buddhism
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016
Time: 1:00 – 3:30 PM
Venue: The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office,
Address: 1701, 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Refreshments will be provided
Teacher: Matthew Regan*
Moderator: Mike Ghouse
Hosted by: Church of Scientology National Affairs Office, Washington, DC
Presented by: Center for Pluralism, Washington, DC
Buddhism is based on Four Noble Truths or four realities which are understood by those who have attained freedom from anxiety, grief, apprehensions and tensions; it can also be called Nirvana.
Some view Buddhism as a philosophy in attaining serene happiness and many view it as a religion, it is based on figuring out conflicts between human desire and how to live a contended life.
Some of us make the mistake of learning about other faiths from hearsay or third parties who may not have a genuine interest or knowledge in presenting the ‘other faith’ with full integrity. It is time for us to hear about the given faith directly from its practitioners. Indeed, there are people out there whose integrity is beyond reproach. If they are Jewish and tell you about Islam, it is with full honesty as though a Muslim would tell it, and there are Muslims who would tell about Hinduism as though a Hindu is narrating to you. None of these good people will resort to discounting other faiths to elevate their own.
Given that, the practitioner of Buddhism will present the faith in the simplest form with an idea that Mr. Spock is our audience. The audience is not conditioned with any religion and is open to understanding the concepts and how this particular faith contributes towards creating cohesive societies where people respect the otherness of others, and live their lives and let others live theirs.
As a pluralist I (Mike Ghouse) believe that every faith is embedded with full of wisdom to live a good life in harmony with oneself and with others. I request the teacher of Buddhism to talk about his faith as eloquently as he can, but never, decimate or belittle other faiths in any fashion; subtle or blatant.
Our goal is to prepare a group of people to understand the essence of each faith and be able to bring about a change to the religious landscape of America.
We hope each one of the attendees would walk in with an open mind and an open heart towards understanding other faiths, and walk out feeling connected with fellow beings who believe differently. No matter what faith we believe, we have to live with people of other faiths, and as responsible citizens we have to create an environment for each one of us to live without apprehension.
We believe knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another point of view.
By the end of 2020, there will not be a major city in America, and perhaps in the world, where you will not find people of different faiths, cultures, ethnicities, races, nationalities and social backgrounds working, eating, playing, marrying, and doing things together. This is bound to create conflicts.
As peacemakers and faith leaders, it is our duty to prepare fellow humans to deal with those eventualities to prevent possible conflicts, and lay a good foundation for nurturing goodwill and effective functioning of the societies.
Exclusive communities will become a thing of the past. If you live amidst others, you must also respect the otherness of others, as you expect them to do the same for you. Our goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.
The goal is to bring people of different faiths together and provide a platform for them to share about their beliefs, their systems and rituals, while expanding the knowledge zone of each group.
You are who you are, and I am who I am. As long as we don’t mess with each other’s space, sustenance and nurturance, and mind our own business, we all will do well. If we can learn to respect the otherness of other and accept the God-given uniqueness of each one of the seven billion of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
The Center for Pluralism is committed to promoting understanding between peoples of different religious affiliations. We would like to thank the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office for hosting the series of events. In support of Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, knowledge leads to understanding and understanding to acceptance and appreciation of another faith. If we can learn to respect the otherness of others and accept the genetic uniqueness of each one of us, then conflicts fade and solutions emerge.
Matt Regan is the secretary of the International Buddhist Committee of Washington, DC, an interdenominational association of Buddhist temples in the DC area that has been linking local Buddhists of various lineages and backgrounds since 1986. A student of Buddhism since 1999, Matt has studied extensively in all three branches of Buddhism, with a special focus on meditation and Buddhist ethics. He served on the organizing committee for the Dalai Lama’s visits to Washington, DC, in 2009 and 2011, and has recently completed seminary training in the Taego Order of Korean Buddhism.
Dr. Mike Ghouse will moderate the event and is an expert in the subject of Pluralism and Interfaith understanding and has written over 3000 articles and broadcasted 720 hours of Radio on understanding Religion and has conducted workshops on the topic.
He is a community consultant and a speaker on Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam, politics, terrorism, human rights, India, Israel-Palestine, motivation, and foreign policy. He is a pluralist, thinker, writer, activist, news maker and an Interfaith Wedding Officiant. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. More about him in links at www.MikeGhouse.net
Rev. Susan Taylor
Church of Scientology National Affairs Office www.Scientology.org
Details at www.Centerforpluralism.com/Workshops
Program designed and produced by Dr. Mike Ghouse