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Datta Knighten Religion in America Professor Rebecca McKee March 27, 2005 Place of worship The third place

I isited !as the "ateless "ate #enter off of $%th A and $&th 't on Monda( March 2$, 2005 at 7)00 pm

Observations of Ritual Space The "ateless "ate #enter is act*all( a ho*se that is *sed for as a +*ddhist temple, The rit*al space !here (o* meditate is one of the man( rooms in the ho*se, The meditation room is appro-imatel( $5 feet b( $. feet, The !alls in the room are pin/ and the ceiling is !hite, 0n the right side of the room there are t!o !indo!s that ha e hori1ontal blinds on them, The door!a( is on the left side of the room and leads to the hall!a(, 0n the bac/ !all right ne-t to the door is a cabinet that has shel es that hold the t!o t(pes of c*shions !e *sed to sit on, The first t(pe of c*shion is a thic/ s2*are c*shion appro-imatel( t!o feet b( t!o feet that goes directl( on the floor, The second t(pe is a one foot ro*nd c*shion that goes directl( on top of the first one, At the front of the meditation room there is a table that has se eral +*ddha3s on it, ho!e er it is neither the focal point, nor an altar for the mon/s, The +*ddhist mon/ said that it !o*ldn3t e en be in the room if people hadn3t donated all of the +*ddha3s to the center, The mon/ !as !earing a gre( and blac/ robe, and !as holding a long !ooden stic/, The focal point is not an(!here inside the room, The focal point is inside (o*,

Observation of Ritual Action 4hen !e !al/ed into the sitting room the mon/ as/ed *s to be seated, 4e sat do!n on the t!o c*shions, and folded o*r legs Indian st(le, 4hen e er(bod( !as seated the mon/ said !e !ere going to meditate for $5 min*tes !itho*t mo ing a m*scle, To begin the sitting he slapped the palm of his hand three times !ith the !ooden stic/, 4e sat still for $5 min*tes !ith o*r e(es closed and foc*sed on o*r breathing to obser e o*r tho*ghts, After the $5 min*tes the mon/ again slapped his palm three times and as/ed *s ho! !e felt, 5e then tal/ed to e er(bod( abo*t some if the +*ddhist teaching, the importance of sitting, and !hat meaning of the long !ooden stic/ is,

Observations of Ritual Purpose The p*rpose of meditating is to clear (o*r mind and become f*ll( a!are of e er( moment, To become f*ll( a!are, (o* !ant to foc*s (o*r mind and become the obser er of (o*r tho*ghts, +*ddhists *se meditation as a !a( of calming and foc*sing the mind, 6irst the mon/ told *s !hat the stic/ !as for, 5e sho!ed *s ho! the( *se it to hit (o* on (o*r sho*lders and bac/ to relie e tension o*t of (o*r bac/ so (o* can sit longer, Then the mon/ said 7+*ddhism is abo*t the cessation of s*ffering8, The +*ddhist mon/ ga e a b*nch of e-amples of ho! meditation can end a lot of problems, 6or e-ample, if (o* ta/e the hand of an Ira2i and the hand of an American and (o* *se a microscope to 1oom reall( close (o* can see that there is no difference in the electrons and protons, so there is no need to /ill each other, If (o* can loo/ at (o*r o!n tho*ght, then (o* can control (o*r actions,

Conclusions In m( e-perience at the "ateless "ate #enter I e-perienced a calming of the mind, Thro*gh meditation and 2*ite deliberation I gained a ne! perspecti e on a different religion,