Answer the following questions with in-depth self-reflective responses (use questions to create section headings):
1. Description of the experience, event, ceremony, etc.
2. Why did you choose this experience and how has it opened your eyes to a different cultural experience?
3. How has this experience impacted you emotionally?
4. How will this experience make you a better counselor?
5. How can this experience help you and possibly other counselors in their clinical work with clients?
6. How have you been changed by this experience?
7. Has this experience changed your worldview?
In a bid of examining my deeply embedded cultural practices, values, and assess how particular beliefs may interfere with how I work as a counselor that attend to different people from diverse backgrounds and cultural practices, I decided to attend a blessing service in a Buddhist wedding event that took place at my local Buddhist Center. Before attending the service, I had some assumptions about my expectations of how Buddhism perceived other cultural practices. Over the years, I was always intrigued by Buddhism but I had never experienced the practices firsthand. Thus, by experience it, I knew I would gather particular details about it that would otherwise have remained a mystery to me. During the course of my visit, I concentrated on particular aspects such as race, sexual orientation, advocacy, gender issues, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Description of the Buddhism Experience
Over the years, studies have demonstrated that there is a link between particular social practices and other aspects of life such as poverty, sexual orientation issues, social justice, advocacy, gender issues, ethnicity, and cultural practices (Gaden, 2004). One of the culturally diverse experiences I came across was Buddhism. Buddhism has been known to be a religious practice that largely focuses on the promotion of tradition as a philosophy of liberation and social justice. For instance, in the sphere of social justice, the religion states that while it is normal for individuals to yearn for pleasure, excessive greed may lead to conflict and disagreement (Gaden, 2004). The Buddhists believe that human beings have been given an opportunity to make particular choices in life and each one of them has its consequence (Gaden, 2004). The teachings of Buddhism highlight that when the choices made are informed by compassion, the result will be happiness and if they are led by hatred, the result will be suffering and pain. Furthermore, on the basis of gender and sexuality, the founder of Buddhism believed that marriage was a sacred ceremony that should be built based on deep mutual respect between two individuals (Kustiani & Hunt, 2012). Moreover, during the experience, I realized that the Buddhist religion holds that the partnership in marriage should be equal. In this regard, Buddhism has played a critical role in making remarkable progress in raising the status of women in the society (Wilson, 2012). In addition, I noted that Buddhism does not consider other religion as being inferior due to the fact that it allows its believers to interact with others. Also, during the experience, I was able to understand that Buddhists hold that the union between two people should be a harmonious mixture of their different abilities and strengths. During the Buddhist service, everyone is welcomed as long as the guests will show the utmost respect for the traditions and practices of the Buddhist faith and beliefs (Wilson, 2012).
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