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SITE VISIT WORKSHEET

You will use this worksheet for both your Eastern religion visit and your
Western religion visit.
Name: tala hammond
Where I went: The Tibetan Buddhist temple in downtown SLC (Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa)
When I went: October 2nd, 2015
In order to get credit for your site visits, you must complete the following questions and
submit via upload at the appropriate time (Midterm or Final). Please use complete sentences,
and no question should be answered as yes or no only.
BEFORE YOU ATTEND: List 3 of what you understand to be the primary beliefs of this faith.
1. They look up to a guru
2. They believe in questioning what they know
3. The Vajrayana teaching is very common with them
How does this religion understand the world?

I know that they are big on the emptiness concept. So pretty much that nothing is permanent and
you shouldnt become too attached to things because itll cause more suffering.

How does this religion understand their relationship to others?

From my understanding, the above still applies to relationships, you dont want to become attached
to other people and even your idea of self.

DURING ATTENDANCE PAY ATTENTION TO THESE THREE DIMENSIONS:


1) Physical (Spatial) observations: What did the worship space look like?
a) Was there symbolism on the exterior of the building? What is its purpose?
- There wasnt much dcor or symbolism on the building from the outside. There were statues on
the stairs

though that symbolized things they believe in, serving the purpose of promoting the

teaching and putting out good karma.


b) What rituals marked the boundary between sacred and profane? (The extraordinary and the
ordinary)
- From what I saw, the more ordinary was performed in the main room and was more open to all
while the more sacred was in a smaller room in the back that was more closed off for meditation
away from the noise.
c) What was the focal point of the space?

- The focal point was definitely the wall facing you when you walk in from the main entrance. There
were a ton of little Buddhas in the wholes of the display and there was a shrine-like display in front
of it.
d) What decorated the space? Why was it there?
- The space was decorated by so many things it was a bit overwhelming. There was a lot to look at.
The main meditation room was the most decorated. There were many pillows, pictures, little
Buddhas, and lots and lots of candles.
e) Did the space reflect functionality? If so, how?
-In a sense yes and in another no it didnt. The pillows made it very comfortable to sit on the ground
and the open space was good but like I said before, it was so decorated that being inside
overwhelmed me. I think there is beauty in simplicity and that it being more simple would be more
calming.
2) Ritual observations: What took place?

a) Describe the elements of worship (liturgy).


-I know that Buddhism doesnt believe in worshipping idols and that it should be avoided to worship
the Buddha. But the main element there in the center was a big Buddha. There was humming and
chanting.
b) Did they have a specific purpose?
- Im assuming that the purpose was something to focus on. Doing that helps to clear your mind of
whatever thoughts you are thinking about and puts them to rest.
c) Who participated? (Was there clergy? A hierarchy?)
- When I went it was during the Lotus Festival so there were all kinds of people there and everyone
participated. There wasnt much of a hierarchy except of course the monks were higher than the
rest.
d) What seemed to be the benefit of these rituals?
- Meditation provides so many benefits like inner peace, relaxation, understanding yourself better,
improving concentration, and possible awakening.
3) Emotional observations: What was the mood?
a) Did the physical space enhance or distract from the emotional/spiritual experience?
- I addressed this before, it did both. The candles and people gave the perfect vibe but it was very
crowded and busy making it also overwhelming.
b) What were the attitudes of the participants? (fear, awe, love, hope, union, boredom, excitement,

passion etc.)
- Everyone there seemed excited and happy. Everyone was very friendly and there was a feeling of
unity.
c) What does this tell you about their ideas toward worship?
- Their ideas towards worship are meant to better the person worshipping and for them to improve
themselves through this enlightening others along with themselves.

d) What did you learn about this religions relationship to non-members?

The Tibetan Buddhists were super open and welcoming to all, encouraging them to participate.
They treated everyone the same regardless if they were members or not.

POST OBSERVATION: REFLECT ON YOUR EXPERIENCE

1) Reaction: What were your expectations and were they met?


-

I didnt have many expectations because I wasnt sure what it would be like, I had a very
open mind going into it. I had a few ideas because I looked into it online in my own time
before I took this class but I thought it was exclusive and that my friend and I would be
the only non-members there. So I suppose it exceeded my expectations. There were
many non-members and there were a lot of people and the energy there was great and
it wasnt exclusive at all.

2) Reflection: Making connections.


a) Were the beliefs and the worldview of the religion present in the physical observations? How?
Where?
- Yes, the beliefs and the worldview were present. You could really tell how mindful and open the monks the
monks were. It was just like the videos we watch in class. They were willing to spread their teachings to all
who asked.
b) Were the beliefs and the worldview of the religion represented in the rituals and symbols? How?
Why?
- The rituals performed really do represent the beliefs of Buddhism. They represent them because the
chanting and concentration it takes to meditate shows the emptiness they preach. Also how wise they are
shows.
c) Were the beliefs and the worldview of the religion felt and/or observed in the emotional
observations? How?
- I dont think I understand this question very well at all to be honest. It made me feel unified with
everyone else there and made me more insightful and open-minded for sure.