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Thứ Ba, tháng 11 08, 2005

No. 0611

Buddhist Group Draws Crowd,Graduates, undergraduates meet in Lowell for talk

Published On Tuesday, November 08, 2005 2:09 AM

By SHAI D. BRONSHTEIN

Graduate students from the Harvard Buddhist Community (HBC) met with 12 students from the College yesterday in an effort to expand undergraduate involvement in Buddhism on campus through meditation, discussion, and education.

Alan G. Wagner, a 6th year graduate student in Chinese Buddhism and a board member of HBC, said that currently, the HBC does not have a strong influence within the undergraduate community.

He described the meeting as an “open forum to talk about Buddhism and about what a Buddhist presence in the College might look like.”

Adam S. Lobel, a second year graduate student at the Divinity School and a member of HBC, said that the meeting’s purpose was to find out what students wanted the HBC to be for undergraduates.

Tin-yun T. Ho ’07 suggested that the HBC host a weekly teaching series where local community leaders could come and speak about Buddhism. Other students suggested readings and meditation lessons so that newcomers could better understand the religion.

Wagner said that the decision to open the HBC up to College students lay in the fact that Buddhism currently suffers from a lack of awareness and participation.

Although Harvard boasts one of the nation’s largest number of faculty members with academic interests in Buddhism, practicing Buddhists still remain elusive, according to Wagner.

“Constantly, people are coming [to Harvard] representing the religious side of other religions,” stated Lobel.

He said that clergymen from all different faiths speak at Harvard on religion, but few Buddhist speakers talk to undergraduates.

Because of this, Wagner wants Buddhism at Harvard to go beyond education.

“The academic side of Buddhism is well taken care of,” he said. “HBC allows for the religious side of Buddhism.”

The organization is “always open to all members of the Harvard community,” stressed Wagner.

While he is not sure what the future of the group will look like, Wagner stated that he was “very pleased with the turnout” at the meeting and hopes that the community will grow together.

While some undergraduates who attended the meeting were entirely new to Buddhism, most had prior exposure to the religion and were interested in forming community bonds with fellow Buddhists at Harvard.

One attendee, Amy E. Heberle ’09 was surprised at how many students who came to the meeting had a Buddhist background.

“I expected more people who didn’t know anything about Buddhism to be there,” she said.

The group will continue to meet Monday evenings in the Mather Tranquility Room. Graduate students from the Harvard Buddhist Community (HBC) met with 12 students from the College yesterday in an effort to expand undergraduate involvement in Buddhism on campus through meditation, discussion, and education.

Alan G. Wagner, a 6th year graduate student in Chinese Buddhism and a board member of HBC, said that currently, the HBC does not have a strong influence within the undergraduate community.

He described the meeting as an “open forum to talk about Buddhism and about what a Buddhist presence in the College might look like.”

Adam S. Lobel, a second year graduate student at the Divinity School and a member of HBC, said that the meeting’s purpose was to find out what students wanted the HBC to be for undergraduates.

Tin-yun T. Ho ’07 suggested that the HBC host a weekly teaching series where local community leaders could come and speak about Buddhism. Other students suggested readings and meditation lessons so that newcomers could better understand the religion.

Wagner said that the decision to open the HBC up to College students lay in the fact that Buddhism currently suffers from a lack of awareness and participation.

Although Harvard boasts one of the nation’s largest number of faculty members with academic interests in Buddhism, practicing Buddhists still remain elusive, according to Wagner.

“Constantly, people are coming [to Harvard] representing the religious side of other religions,” stated Lobel.

He said that clergymen from all different faiths speak at Harvard on religion, but few Buddhist speakers talk to undergraduates.

Because of this, Wagner wants Buddhism at Harvard to go beyond education.

“The academic side of Buddhism is well taken care of,” he said. “HBC allows for the religious side of Buddhism.”

The organization is “always open to all members of the Harvard community,” stressed Wagner.

While he is not sure what the future of the group will look like, Wagner stated that he was “very pleased with the turnout” at the meeting and hopes that the community will grow together.

While some undergraduates who attended the meeting were entirely new to Buddhism, most had prior exposure to the religion and were interested in forming community bonds with fellow Buddhists at Harvard.

One attendee, Amy E. Heberle ’09 was surprised at how many students who came to the meeting had a Buddhist background.

“I expected more people who didn’t know anything about Buddhism to be there,” she said.

The group will continue to meet Monday evenings in the Mather Tranquility Room.
http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=509726