Author Topic: Student of anthropology studying Buddhism  (Read 1604 times)

Offline Tracy_G

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Student of anthropology studying Buddhism
« on: April 07, 2016, 02:37:58 pm »
Hello everyone,
My name is Tracy and I am a student at Ashford University and am conducting field research for an anthropology of religion class.  I hope I am not offending anyone by being here.  I wish to ask permission to use any words written in this thread for my research on Dharma talks and Buddhism.  My main question is what do Dharma talks mean to you?
When one attends a dharma talk are any special items worn?
Who attends a Dharma talk and when are they held?
Thank you to anyone who responds to anyone who reads this
Tracy G

Offline zafrogzen

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Re: Student of anthropology studying Buddhism
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 11:53:02 am »
Hi Tracy,

From your questions it would seem you are not very familiar with Buddhism. It is a diverse religion, more so than Christianity. Thus it’s pretty difficult to answer those questions succinctly. There are numerous different occasions when a talk might be given, as well as different sects of Buddhism with different ways of doing things.

Your main question -- what do dharma talks mean to me? Again it depends, but usually it is simply the speaker or teacher explaining an aspect of their particular practice, which in most cases centers on meditation and personal experience. Some are naturally more meaningful than others.

There’s not usually any special outfit one is required to wear. If ordained one might wear priest’s robes.

Most dharma talks are open to anyone who wants to attend.

Good luck with your research. Maybe you can get out in the “field” and attend some dharma talks. Just keep in mind the diversity of Buddhism -- one size doesn‘t fit all.

My first formal meditation training was with Shunryu Suzuki in the 60's and later with Kobun, Robert Aitken and many other teachers (mainly zen). However, I've spent the most time practicing on my own, which is all I do now. I'm living in a rather isolated area so I miss connecting with other practitioners. Despite my interest in zen I've made an effort to remain secular. You can visit my website at


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