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Final Words: Summary of Fascinating Projects

For extra credit, write a paragraph or two sharing with other class members the highlights of your final project assignment. What was particularly interesting in what you read? How did it connect in helpful ways to course reading you have done?

Comments

I did my final project on Women and Hinduism. I have a bunch of friends who are Hindu and thought this would be the best proejct to do, so I could learn more on the religion and about them at the same time. I found out a ton of intresting facts, and was even able to intreview them for this project. One friend Deepika let me go out to her home and watch them during their prayers. I thought it was amazing being able to see what their procedure is for their worship. I know more about her and her family now. When I go to her place we can talk about religion, since I know so much more about it. They got up early in the morning took showers, and cooked offerings for each other and the God’s. I thought that was really nice that they would give sweets and fruit to the God’s as offerings.

I found out a lot about the many God’s of the Hindu religion. Since there are many God’s that are female, that has a lot of influence on the Hindu people. They can see that Hindu women, are just as important as men. There are many people who don’t treat men and women the same and this is one reason why to treat them the same. Not all Hindu people treat women the same, but it does give a lot to the women, to show that they are praying to females and not only males. I thought that was great. There was one God that was half male and half female. It was so intresting to read about and thought so much of it.

I am glad this was the final project and definatly came out ahead in learning more of my friends and the religion.

My final project is Women and Buddhism. It is true that I am Buddhist, but I never look at my own religion that closed before I took this course. This course helped me to research western American Buddhists’ work and their legacy.

Buddha Shakyamuni was a founder of Buddhism and hold great reverence towards his mother. To repay her kindness, he visited the realm of gods where she had taken rebirth and gave teaching there. Upon reaching Tibet, Buddhism gained prominence in the land during the time of Trisong Deutsan who was a great king. There are many scriptures that praises being women and it is true that there are big similarity between all other religions how they treat women.

I would include that one of the highlights of the class would be being able to meet in a classroom. The reason is that if it was just online there would be no discussion or more learning. If a person is learning they can get a lot more of out of the subject when sharing with others.
Another one would be that reminder of what women have done in the past. It is good to have reminders because that sometimes we as humans can forget things. Some of these things are things that were accomplished and who did them. This causes things such as credit given to where it should not be.

My final paper was on Mary Rose O'Reilley's memoir "The Barn at the End of The World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd." She's a retired professor from Saint Thomas University in Saint Paul and her memoir of a year in a teaching barn and 3 months in a Buddhist monastery in France is an absolutely wonderful illustration of practically every theme we have discussed in this class. I would strongly encourage all of you to read it. I understood the themes of this class on a general level, but O'Reilley brings them to life with her irreverent writings and reflections. Here's a couple of brief excerpts:

(sacred in ordinary) “A busy cycle of internal healing operates while we’re unconscious. I’m convinced that the spirit, too, needs deep rest to reduce its habitual overdrive- rest that, in the mercy of creation, used to be woven into the daily fabric of chores… It takes half a life to realize that these unsung, secret, rhythmic occupations are creation’s gift to our species” (223).

(religious exploration) “Its helpful to come again to your own religion after you have filtered it through some radically different sets of belief…When you hang out for awhile in Buddhism, Sufism, or whatever, you notice that religious phenomena remain constant, although the metaphors around the phenomena change” (215).

But the book is also of a story about her experiences in a teaching barn working with sheep- The earthy and exhausting tasks of the barn – shearing, feeding, trimming necrotic anal tissue, collecting semen, and managing conception, birth, death and dying – challenged O’Reilley’s physical and emotional capacities and clarified a vision for her future. "My method of catching sheep at present is to stare at them until their nerves crack and they do something stupid, like put their heads through a fence and stick there....I managed to pen the three Dorsets outside in a corner...but that left Hampshire ram #5001 inside the Dorset pen with no intention of vacating. I caught him easily but I could not move him by
1. herding
2. getting behind him and pushing
3. yelling "hai!"
4. clutching him around the neck and dragging
5. getting on his back and pulling up his chin
6. getting on his back and clutching his shoulders in my knees while dragging myself and him hand over hand down the wire fence
7. bribing him with corn
8. pulling his feet forward one at a time..." (75)

;-)

Anyway it was a good read, and a great way for me to wrap up this class.

Take care, all. Namaste!

~Steph

in my final project, i wrote about the theology of sin in christianity. it was amazing to discover that some ot the things that we went through in the readings also applied. Issues like healing, choice and how generally women have emerged through the old testatemnt where they were not recognized at all to a time in the new testament where they were given a chance to be a part of the christian mission. this is very encouraging because women everywhere shouold have the hope that it might take a long time coming but they will get there. very interesting topic.