Alicia Parker. 4/30/17. Exploring Asia . Reflection Paper.

1247 WordsMay 12, 20175 Pages
Alicia Parker 4/30/17 Exploring Asia Reflection Paper Even though I found a lot of information on Asia interesting, the section on East Asian Philosophical and Religious Thinking was what really resonated with me. I was always interested in Asian religions beforehand but my knowledge on the subject was somewhat limited. This subject is also important as I have friends and relatives that practice some of these religions. Also, I was able to expand my knowledge on Shintoism, which I have seen referenced to in Japanese media, such as the films of Studio Ghibli. I learned that Buddhism, one of the oldest religions in the world, is based on the teachings and spiritual practices of the Buddha. I also learned that Buddha was not a god but…show more content…
The concept of the Bodhisattva plays a huge role in Buddhism. Bodhisattvas are beings that strive towards enlightenment. A Bodhisattva can be anyone that practices the ways of the Buddha. Also, Buddhists also believe in the existence of the Celestial Bodhisattva. This concept involves Guanyin and Maitreya. Guanyin, the “Goddess of Mercy” is a bodhisattva associated with compassion. Maitreya, the “Future Buddha” is a Bodhisattva that has not yet achieved enlightenment but will become the future Buddha of this world. Another important aspect of Buddhism involves the power of reincarnation. This involves the Samsara, or “the Wheel of Life”. The Samsara is “the cycle of birth, death and rebirth”. This process is eternal and affects all of humanity. Samsara also involves six realms in which beings are reborn into. These are “the realms of gods, demigods, humans, animals, hells and ghosts”. Buddhists also believe that karma drives the cycle of Samsara. Shintoism is the ancient faith of the Japanese people. Unlike Buddhism, Shintoism has no founders or sacred texts. It also has no doctrines. It is the “way of Kami”. Kami are spirits or gods worshipped in Shintoism. They can be anything from humans to things in nature, such as rocks, trees, rivers and animals. Throughout Japan, there are thousands of shrines dedicated to Shinto. The main purpose of these shrines is to provide shelter for the various Kami. Shrines vary

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