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Buddhadharma : Fall 2008
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly fall 2 0 08 62 America. This diverse microcosm extends beyond Central and East Asia to also include a host of South Asian Buddhist communities. There are at least three Theravada sanghas in Utah. Serving the Cambodian ethnic community is Wat Bud- dhikaram in West Valley City. The temple serves a community of about one hundred families, housing several monks who are in the process of learning English as a second language. The Thai community congregates at Wat Dhammagunaram in North Layton. It was started by Thai immigrants who came to Utah in the 1970s, many of whom were wives of American servicemen, some of whom were associated with the Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield. Originally incorporated in 1975, the temple was first located in Ogden; an existing church was purchased and remodeled to accommodate the needs of the sangha and was consecrated in 1995. Although predominantly Thai, the sangha also includes some Cambodian and Laotian members, with services in each of the languages, along with traditional Pali chanting. It also serves as a meditation center, led by its abbot, Phrakhru Phutthiyansophon. Finally, there is a Laotian temple, Wat Lao Munisriratnarams, in Sandy, served by resident monk Venerable Phouy Keovangmany. Vipassana meditation can also be found in Utah, primarily at the Insight Meditation Vipassana center in Salt Lake City. It is run by the teacher, Shirley Ray, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has been practicing and studying Theravada Buddhism since 1978. She studied with Stephen Batchelor at Sharpham College in England and completed the Dharma Leader program in 2003 with various teachers from Spirit Rock, Gaia House, and the Insight Meditation Society. She runs weekly meditation and dharma teachings, as well as full- day retreats and six-week meditation courses. Nobody knows precisely how many Buddhists there are in North America, but many informed estimates suggest that there are about six million Buddhists if one combines both Asian immigrant and American convert Buddhists. By 2005, most reliable data on the LDS church indicated that there are about the same number of Mormons in the United States. Most people would probably imagine Buddhists and Mormons to be at absolutely opposite poles of North Ameri- ca’s religious landscape. After all, the very first of the famous thirteen articles of faith often used to introduce Mormonism to interested parties says, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” Clearly, these are monumentally different traditions with re- gard to their respective theological perspectives. On the other hand, the thirteenth article of faith says, in part, “We be- lieve in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.” It goes on to conclude, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” These words could easily be the writings of a Buddhist expressing faith in the five traditional vows of the laity and emphasizing non-harming, truthfulness, non-theft, sexual propriety, and avoidance of intoxicants. If MAY REQUIRE MORE THAN A SINGLE VIEW. Buddhadharma offers the best Buddhist teachings available from a wide variety of traditions – Theravada, Zen, Vajrayana and others. Deepen your understanding, enhance your practice, and keep in touch with the wider Buddhist community. Try a one-year (four issues) subscription at the introductory price of $19.95 (US). Get a FULL REFUND if you’re not satisfied with your first issue. CALL TOLL-FREE 1-877-786-1950 FAX: 1-902-423-2701 www.thebuddhadharma.com Introductory pricing for one year (four issues): US $19.95, Canada CDN$29.95, international US$29.95 VISA or Mastercard Buddhadharma Many Buddhists, One Buddhadharma oott eee. E 0 1 m m m ar 5, 5, 95 rd