Category:Working Within the Buddhist Tradition
From Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers
Buddhism is a religious and philosophical tradition encompassing a variety of beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha, which means "the awakened one." The Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an awakened or enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end ignorance (avidyā), thus escaping what is seen as a cycle of suffering and rebirth.
The major denominations of Buddhism are called Yanas or Vehicles. The two major Yanas or branches of Buddhism are Theravada ("The School of the Elders"), which has a widespread following in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle"), which is found throughout East Asia.
Mahayana Buddhism includes the traditions or schools of
- Pure Land Buddhism ("Amidhism" or "Amitabha Buddhism")
- Zen or Chan Buddhism ("Meditative State Buddhism")
- Nichiren-kei sho shūha Buddhism ("Nichiren Buddhism," named after its founder, Nichiren)
- Tiantai or Tendai Buddhism ("Lotus Sutra Buddhism")
- Shinnyo-en Buddhism ("Borderless Garden of Truth Buddhism")
- Shingon Buddhism ("True Words Buddhism" or "Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism")
- Donmi Buddhism ("Chinese Esoteric Buddhism or "Eastern Secret Buddhism")
- Vajrayana Buddhism ("Diamond Vehicle Buddhism," also known as "Tibetan Buddhism," "Tantric Buddhism," or "Secret Esoteric Buddhism").
In some classification systems, the last three schools named in the above list -- Vajrayana Buddhism, which is practiced mainly in Tibet and Mongolia, and the closely related Shingon Buddhism of Japan and Donmi Buddhism of China -- are recognized as a third major branch or Yana of Buddhism, alongside Theraveda and Mahayana, while others classify all of these denominations, under the name "Tibetan Buddhism," as a part of Mahayana Buddhism.
While Buddhism remains most popular within Asia, representatives of most, if not all, of the many Buddhist denominations are now found throughout the world. Estimates of Buddhists worldwide vary significantly depending on the way Buddhist adherence is defined. Lower estimates are between 350 and 500 million.
Buddhism and Hoodoo
Buddhism forms a minor current in hoodoo folk magic which originated mostly on the West Coast, in New York City, and in Chicago.
The greatest overlap between Buddhism and conjure, a form of magic primarily practiced by Protestant Christians, is centered in California. This is the result of the late 19th and early 20th century cultural intermingling of African Americans with Cantonese Chinese immigrants who were adherents of Taoist-influenced Cantonese Buddhism and indigenous Chinese religious traditions.
Among the Chinese Taoist and Buddhist images and goods which became part of hoodoo iconography were such items as Chinese Wash, Hotei the Lucky or Laughing Buddha, and Ling Nuts, the latter known colloquially in the USA as Bat Nuts or Devil Pods.
Additionally, after the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, which featured the Lama Temple, housing an exhibit of Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhist statuary and religious furnishings, a Jewish family pharmacy in Chicago created a nationally distributed conjure goods brand known as the Lama Temple products line.
National distribution of products such as these, while not part of a true cultural integration of Buddhism into African American society, nevertheless brought a great many hoodoo practitioners into contact with Buddhist concepts and imagery.
- Religious Traditions
- Magical Traditions
- Divination, Fortune Telling, and Oracles
- Hoodoo, Conjure, Witchcraft, and Rootwork
- Working with Spirits