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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am working on a school project and having a little trouble with research. I have a rather large project on Buddhism and so there are some topics I have to learn about. These are the things that I am having trouble with, so if anyone has any good links or information for me it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you soooooo much!

-What is a koan? What is the purpose? Examples?

-Different perspectives on the presence of God, gods, or spirits

-What does a Buddhist temple look like? What features might I find? Prayer wheels/mandala

-Nirvana

-reincarnation, what the buddhist take on reincarnation is and how it differs from that of hinduism

-What is Buddhist meditation, the purpose of it, how often most buddhists do it, etc.

Thank you again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the link. It's one that I have been using and you are right, it does contain a lot of good info. I particularly need different perspectives on reincarnation and meditation, if anyone is Buddhist and would like to share their take on these topics I would looooove to hear it! I feel so ignorant on this topic... If you do not feel like it that is ok.
 

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There are different kinds of Buddhism.

I practice Zen Buddhism but as Zen doesn't believe in any supernatural phenomena I don't consider Zen a religion (in the traditional sense of the word). Zen is more like a mental practice to attain an enlightened state of mind to help you to cope with your life better and to end your suffering (much of which is 'only in your head' and self-created). So Zen concentrates on this life, on you, on this moment - not on life after death and such.

As I said I see zen as cleansing, a workout of the mind if you will. I seek to have both physical workout and this mental practice every day and do this to achieve some kind of balance and don't pray to ghosts/gods to help me with my problems.

There are a lot of "ghost"-stories and legends in Buddhism. I believe Zen's take on them is that they are only "real" in your mind, but it's true that they can *seem* very real. Just as many of your problems. For instance by comparing yourself to others you create a lot of problems / suffering for yourself. These might seem very real to you, but fact is - you created them, they don't exist outside of your head. They are an illusion but you are so convinced they are "real". So it is with the ghosts in your head which are the manifestations of your sufferings/problems. Besides if you are telling stories it's simply easier to "personify" suffering and problems by making them into "ghosts".

There are not many formalities in Zen, the meditation is called zazen. But there are no special tricks or goals when sitting in zazen, you "just sit", breathe and try to let go of the discriminating monologue that is goes on constantly in our mind (me vs. them, this is good, this is bad, etc).

I hope this helps a bit. It's difficult to explain Zen in words so if this is confusing, just ignore it
 

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well the buddhist take on reincarnation is that you come back as something undesirable if you wer a bad person. and you come back as something desirable if you were a good person. for instance a farmer kills a pig. that pig lived a tortured life and had no opertunity to be bad. the end result could be that the farmer becouse a farm animal and the pig becomes a farmer. a cycle that exsplians human over population. i do not think hinduism has a much diffrant belief in reincarnation. hinduism and buddhism are close i beliefs. if i am wrong with anything i just said correct me. i have only studied buddhism of en on for 3 years and just started to really follow it.
 
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