Buddhists/Questions

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Question
I'm supposed to interview someone, and I just found that out. I don't hae a lot of time. So here are my questions

What are the practices that you do for buddhism?

What are the different practices?

How would you describe the afterlife belief in buddhism?

Answer
Hello Samantha -

Thank you for letting me answer your questions.

To answer the first one, I assume you mean what practices do I do personally.

Well, I do a lot of practices. I don't do all of them every day but I do as many as I can ever day.

There is one I do every day and that a practice where I work on visualizing myself as a Buddha in order to help me become one quicker.  This practice also involves meditation to help my mind be calm and clear during the day and I work on setting my motivation for the day in order to be the best person I an be and benefit as many sentient beings as I can.

I do what is called a sadhana practice for Buddha Akshobya. That is because I took what is called an Empowerment and I use this Buddha to help me work on becoming enlightened.

I also do mantra recitations for other empowerments I have taken.

Another practice I have is to do 100,000 mantras of Vajrasattva as a purification practice.  Purification practices help me purify my past negative karma and help me on my spiritual path.

I also do practices for my health given to me by 2 different lamas, including meditating on emptiness, doing a practice called Tong-Len which means imagining taking on the suffering of others and giving them my happiness, and imagine giving away all my possessions to all the sentient beings in all the universes including animals, ghosts and beings in the hell realms.

As far as your second question, there are probably hundreds of different Buddhist practices.  I am only really familiar with a tiny portion because I am a Tibetan Buddhist.  And Buddhism is alive and well in India, Thailand, Viet Nam, Japan, Mongolia, China, Sri Lanka and lots of other countries which all have different practices.  And of Tibetan Buddhism, there are 4 major sects of Tibetan Buddhism all with their own specific practices.  Plus I am a Western Tibetan Buddhist and when Buddhism came to the west, even more practices developed.

If you have questions about specific practices, I would be happy to answer them the best I can.

As far as describing the afterlife - we believe that when someone dies, their mind leaves their body after a certain period of time and goes into what is called the Bardo or between life states.  There, they encounter different experiences - either positive or negative depending on their karma and because of their egos being so strong, they crave returning to a physical body which is what they are used to and their karma projects them into a new life and they are reborn. This has happened to them since beginningless time and will happen to them until they reach enlightenment.

I don't know what your time line is to get this turned in so if you have time and have any questions about what I have said I will be happy to answer them but I am pretty busy so let me know when you need your information by.

I hope this helped a bit - you asked questions that could take pages and pages to answer as they are big questions

I wish you much success in your interview -

Sincerely, Laurie

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Laurie McLaughlin

Expertise

I can answer questions about basic Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism and meditation especially how the Buddha's teachings can help us in day to day living.

Experience

I have been studying Mahayana Buddhism and meditation since 2001. I have lead meditation classes and retreats for over 5 years. I have lived at a Buddhist retreat center for over 4 years and am currently ordained as a novice Buddhist nun. My nun name is Gyalten Yanghchen.

Education/Credentials
I hold a BA degree in technical theatre from the University of South Florida.

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