A Cultural And Community Experience

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INTRODUCTION In an effort to experience a cultural and community experience that is outside my “normal” culture and encourages interaction among people with whom I might not normally interact, I attended The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment: The Lamrim Chenmo teachings at the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center located in Middletown, Connecticut on July 8, 2014. PRIOR TO VISITING THE CENTER Before I visited the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I tried not to do too much research about the Center and Tibetan Buddhism on purpose before attending because I wanted the experience to be fairly raw. I thought the better prepared that I might have been, the less chance that I might feel the…show more content…
However, I arrived at the Center nearly 20 minutes early, which also gave me a level of anxiety because I did not want to interrupt if other activities were going on, nor did I want to be sitting awkwardly within the Center itself alone for arriving too early. DURING THE VISIT TO THE CENTER As I approached the Center, I could feel myself growing nervous. However, this is not an uncommon feeling for me, as I often feel nervous when there is timing involved. I never want to arrive too early nor too late – I want to be exactly on time. As I came up to the Center I began to realize what some of my expectations had been (I had attempted to think about these before I went to the event, but I realized that I wasn’t sure what I was expecting until I got there and felt that my expectations were either confirmed or denied). The Center is a house with a porch and a small sign reading “The Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center). I was not expecting a converted house, but rather some sort of stand-alone building, perhaps like a temple, synagogue, or church. As I went inside, I saw rows of shoes from students before me, and remembered to take off my shoes prior to going into the shrine room as I had read on the Center’s
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