My name is Aidan, I am a senior student from a small High School in Ontario, Canada. I am doing a research project on Buddhism in a world cultures class. I would like to ask practicing Buddhists some questions about the religion to learn more about Buddhism. I have attempted to contact some local Buddhist groups to ask questions, however, none have responded to me. I figured this would be a good place to try and find some practicing Buddhists. If you would be interested in helping me learn more about the religion, I would greatly appreciate any responses.
Below I have added the questions for those who would like to respond in the comments. Answer as many or as few as you’d like.
- In your opinion, how would you define the organized religion of ‘Buddhism’? Were there any familial expectations to become involved in this religion or was this a personal choice that you made? What does it mean to be ‘Buddhist’ to you?
- How long have you been practicing Buddhism? Has your religion been an influential factor in how you were raised? (Eg: have you ever been unable to partake in certain activities because it would compromise your religious beliefs/practices?) Is there a personal reason as to why you chose to become Buddhist?
- What are some of the customary rituals and practices related to Buddhism? Are prayer and meditation essential components of this organized religion? If so, how many times a day/week do you pray?
- In your opinion, does meditating help you obtain physical, mental and spiritual health?
- Are there any items that should be avoided in this life if one were to become a practicing Buddhist? (ex. Foods, meats, alcohol?)
- What does Buddhism suggest happens to you when you die? Is there such a thing as an ‘afterlife’ in Buddhism? What are your personal thoughts on what happens when you die?
- Hinduism and Buddhism are two of the largest religions in the world. Both believe in reincarnation, however, both religions are very different from each other. What do you think are the key factor(s) that differentiate the two religions?
- What do you think of the ideas of modern Atheists/Agnostics, who believe there is no God(s) or do not believe there is enough proof to determine if there is a God or not? Is the practice of Buddhism respectful of these ideas?
- In the future, how do you think Buddhsim will evolve moving forward throughout the world
- Do you think that there are any misconceptions that surround the organized religion of Buddhism and if so, what do you think they are? What solutions would you put forward to combat these misconceptions in Canada today and moving forward?
- How could a person go about joining/becoming a buddhist? If you didn’t join via your family, how did you join buddhism?
- How has COVID-19 affected how your practice buddhism?