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Observation I: Buddhism Documentary 32:16

At this point in the documentary, i have witnessed lots of chanting, people gathered in one big
room to meditate and, as said in video, gain theyre enlightenment. so far buddhism seems to
be a religion of extreme faith; people are devoting theyre entire lives to the cause and that is just
something you dont see as much nowadays. Buddhism is one of the only religions that still have
followers doing this.
This portion of the video has now directed itself to hinduism, which is similar to buddhism in
many ways, but not as intense. Hinduism has 4 books called the Vedas, which are the learning
instruments for the religion and how followers learn how to worship their gods. It is believed that
the vedas were transcribed over 6000 years ago which dates theyre beginnings at 4000 BC.The
Rig Veda is the earliest book was the beginnings of the Hindu faith. Hinduism is the world's 3rd
largest religion with over 300 million followers. Vedak Himes was one of the supporters and
innovators of the faith and expressed his feelings and worship towards hindu gods and
Islam was next topic on the list and was once considered one of the world's most peaceful
religions. Islam has been around for thousands of years and continues to grow throughout the
world today.

Observation II: Chua Lien Hoa (Buddhist Temple)

1. Beginning:
- In this observation I couldnt really reflect as it was going on, but rather I had to wait
until the end to show respect for the monks there. When I arrived I spoke to one of the
head leaders of the temple who told me to call him Paul because his name is so
difficult. I told him about my project and observation and that I kind of wanted to
educate every one of my first hand experiences with many different forms of religion,
and how religion Is dwindling in the 21st century due to the great technology
adventures and how we as human beings are wanting to do more with ourselves and
losing track of the paths of spirituality. He allowed me to sit in on ritual and worship,
so I found a nice corner with pen and notebook in hand and began observing my very
first Buddhist ceremony.
2. Mid- Way (20 Mins):
- At this point of the service all attendees have now did theyre prayers, and are
intertwined in meditation with my new friend Paul. After, and intense, deep, and
very spiritual meditation, all other attendees stand up and walk to my friend Paul to

pay their respects for his services, and as in the Christian faith with offering and
donation the same is done here but done as an offering to the gods rather than a
donation to the pastor. Paul says all donations are used to buy or repair any broken
pieces in his temple, as well as help families in his community that arent given
3. End.(45mins):
- After everyone had packed up and this session of prayer was over I spoke to Paul
more about Buddhism, and asked kind of why he follows, and what he wants to do
with it. This religion to a temple leader such as Paul is his life, he says he has been
running this same temple for almost 12 years, he has devoted himself to the religion
in hopes that one day he can find peace with himself, and pass smoothly into the
after-life. He has not wife, no children, he has a small home that he occupies to
himself but usually chooses to spend months at a time leader his fellow followers
down the right path. Paul was a very interesting man, and I was very happy I chose to
do this observation; it really opened my eyes to how serious people take religion and
how much they devote to the cause.

Observation III: (Church)


I must say it has been quite some time since I have been to church, my mothers side
of the family is very Christian and I have kind just tried to do the right thing treat
others how I would like to be treated and follow my own code, which is simply be the
best human being I can be. Well this experience was with my grandma, who is
Baptist, I dressed up for our 9am service on Sunday, and she was overjoyed that I
would come with her. When we arrived her, Pastor was at the door shaking
everyones hand that walked in, greeting and giving blessing, as everyone piled into
this very big room with isles of pews, each pew had around 10 books of The Bible
sitting on the back. We sat down in the row closest to the front because my grandma
was in the choir, and she floated back in forth between the audience and the stage of
to the side. Service started with the pastor saying hello to everyone and a morning


Again, this observation was strictly observation and all I was able to do was take
small notes when I could, but around halfway through, we had sung a few songs, and
everyone had been standing, clapping and making tons of noise. The pastor had now
taking the stand and begins to deliver his message for the day. Todays message
consisted of the importance of his mission here, gods mission for us and how we each
need to find out missions and follow it; if I could compare it to anything it was kind
of a way to motivate the audience to better themselves and their situations. It showed
me that there was more to this religion than a rule book; The pastor in this situation

was a messenger, an interpreter, who relays gods message to the people, this lifts
them up, brings theyre spirit up when theyre down and gives them the motivation to
conquer those things that are standing in the way. What I disagree with is that, rather
than be delivered a message that has been interpreted by someone else, why not just
interpret by ones self?
End (1hr 10min):

At the end of service everyone left the big common room where we had prayer and
passed through a door to a lobby where there was food, drink, and tables for everyone
to sit and speak. Rather than collect the offering during service, the church set aside
these big with a slot in the top, and as people passed from place of worship, to the
room to eat they would slip money into the containers and my grandma said that they
are picked up at the end. She said that her Pastor would rather not interrupt service,
but give people a little more of a choice to do the right thing and donate to the
community, this statement was a little more complex than she had said, but this was
the basis of what she had said. Once everyone had food in hand, we all sat down and
said prayer, and then everyone at together, it seemed like a really big extended family,
lots of laughing, joy, and very interesting conversations about each other personal
lives, jobs, and things that had happened since last time. What I found most different
from this form of religion versus that of the Buddhist is that the Buddhist kind of a
one on one relationship with their god, whereas Christianity has both a one on one
relationship as well as a group relationship that brings total and complete strangers, of
different races and backgrounds together as a family they would have never had. This
was empowering, and showed me that religion not only fixes relationships, but
creates them as well.

IV: Interview Questions

1. What is religion to you?
2.How does religion impact your everyday life?
3.If i said religion is a guidebook to being a good human being would you agree or disagree with
this statement?
4.Do you think religion is more or less prominent in the 21st
Interview Answers: Moe Alagharzi (Business Partner and Mentor)
1. What is religion to you?
- Religion to me, is abiding by a strict rule that one should follow in their everyday
lives to be able to proclaim themselves as religious. You cant be Christian and do
something that is totally against the faith and this is the same for all of the other
religions as well.
2. How does religion impact your everyday life?

As a follower of Islam, I must pray twice a day, so around lunch time each day, no
matter where I am, work, school, or home. I go to my usual locations that I have
designated over the years for this situation, and pray for around 20 minutes to show
Ala that I am still here and serving him.
3. If I said, religion is the guidebook to being a good human being, would you agree or
- When you first asked this I must say your standpoint of this situation is definitely a
few more steps back than I had first thought, but after more thinking it seems that this
is quite right. If you followed all of the rules of our religions, we would be a peaceful
planet, one without wars, one without corruption, but as my Quran speaks of things
called mistakes, or sin in Christian culture which is what makes us human beings. We
do not follow the rules all of the time but when we do, life is really great.
4. Do you think religion is more or less prominent in the 21st century?
- I believe that religion is less prominent in than it was say 30 years ago; religion has
taken a backseat to desire and greed, it has become something to go to when things go
wrong rather than a code to live by. The youth of our society is definitely more
attached to their new iPhone 6 rather than the book which they choose to follow. One
would rather have fun for themselves than appease their god.
V: Analyze
Throughout my observations I have seen many things. It seems that in religion most use
their religious practice as reasoning for doing things, both good, or bad. The convention of god
as family is prominent in the Christian faith, as well as a common trend that is reoccurring
throughout the many other religious groups such as Buddhism and Hinduism and could be a
theme throughout many more. It seems that religion is constantly bringing people from different
races, and social classes together and giving them a bond as deep as a bond one would share with
that of a close family member. For example, when I went to church I noticed that after Sunday
service, everyone would sit down and eat dinner together, talk about the kids, the work and life.
They would gossip and give advice when needed, and mourn when someone had passed or was
sad. Another common convention Ive found is each group has a day of worship, or at least a
time, Buddhist like to meditate and important points in the day such as sunrise, noon, or sunset.
Christians meet on Sundays, sometimes more, and Hindus worship once a week as well, not
special day, but the frequency of once weekly is definitely there. I asked myself this question
over and over many times, and then I came up with this idea that the frequency in which one
worships, affects the bonds that are created between the people that are involved. In Buddhism
one may only go to temple once a month, but worships once a day alone, where as a Christian

may only truly worship once a week but, due to the fact that they meet the same people each
week they bond more deeply. So, the common trend I want to research is going to be, does the
frequency that one worships effects the amount of connection they build with fellow worshipers
or is the factor of where they worship that matters most.
VI: Chart

Denike, Margaret. 2007. Religion, Rights, and Relationships: The Dream of

Relational Equality. Hypatia 22 (1). [Hypatia, Inc., Wiley]: 7191.
Petersen, Larry R., and K. Peter Takayama. 1984. Religious Commitment and
Conservatism: Toward Understanding an Elusive Relationship.Sociological
Analysis 45 (4). [Oxford University Press, Association for the Sociology of

Religion, Inc.]: 35571. doi:10.2307/3711299.

Mahoney, Annette, Kenneth I. Pargament, Aaron Murray-Swank, and Nichole
Murray-Swank. 2003. Religion and the Sanctification of Family
Relationships. Review of Religious Research 44 (3). [Religious Research

Association, Inc., Springer]: 22036. doi:10.2307/3512384.

Bainbridge, William Sims, and Rodney Stark. 1981. Friendship, Religion, and
the Occult: A Network Study. Review of Religious Research 22 (4). [Religious
Research Association, Inc., Springer]: 31327. doi:10.2307/3509765.

VII: Propose
Based on my observations and sources, I have found a common trend of different family
and home relationships from religion to religion. For example, in Buddhism, the followers seem
to have a more one on one relationship with god. On the other hand, in Christianity, it seems that
everyone is interconnected, it more of a family and friends way to worship; Church becomes
family, and that is something Buddhism did not show me during my observations, or find in my
sources. Im interested in seeing just how diverse family life is from one religion to the next, I do
not follow a religious group, but find religion very interesting and believe that we are too
complex as human beings to be created by accident. This is another reason religion interest me
because I am a very literal minded person, I like to be able to make since of our existence. This
compilation of my findings will discuss the differences each major religion has on their family

life and well as argue that religious association can affect relationships that you will have
throughout everyday life.