Group spreads appreciation of Buddhism

by Bhagavathy Umamaheswar, Kansas State Collegian, February 6, 2006

Manhattan, Kansas (USA) -- The K-State Buddhist Association is a small but growing student organization. The group, established last October, has members who said they try to appreciate and reflect on the Buddhist doctrine through the study and practice of Buddhism.

<< Mariko Price, graduate student in education, laughs during the K-State Buddhist Association meeting Jan. 2 in the K-State Student Union. The group will meet again Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the Union.

Catrina Rawson/Collegian

“There are so many churches in Manhattan but no place where I could pursue my spiritual practice of Buddhism,” said Mariko Price, graduate student in curriculum and instruction and group founder and president.

Price, a native of Japan, said she wanted to set up an organization where local Buddhists could gather regardless of their denominations and discuss spiritual and religious issues.

“Essentially, I was looking at setting up a group which would foster ecumenical thinking, nurture Buddhist spirit and encourage people to express their perspectives and ideas on various topics,” Price said.

The group, which began as a member of the committee on religion, was set up with the assistance of Donald Fallon, coordinator of religious activities in the Office of Student Life.

Fallon listed reasons for the importance of such an organization on campus.

“It helps people of Buddhist faith to carry on their private meditation and spiritual development,” he said. “It also provides the group a sense of community and finally, it exposes Americans to Buddhism, which is a world religion.”

The association has about 20 members from Japan, Korea, India, Brazil and the United States. The organization is open to K-State students, faculty and staff, as well as Manhattan residents.

The group has bi-weekly meetings in the K-State Student Union during which members from various denominations meet and express their opinions on subjects like happiness, karma, anger and meditation.

This week, members discussed excerpts from the book, “The Art of Happiness,” authored by the 14th Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. The book has citations from the Buddhist doctrine with advice that is accessible even to those unfamiliar with Buddhism.

Christina Hauck, associate professor of English, serves as the faculty adviser for the organization.

Hauck said goodness and kindness exist in all human beings. She made a reference to the concept of causation and how one good deed leads to another.

“Infants come into the world as little bundles of demands, and as we grow up we crave for love and support,” she said. “When we are loved, we readily share it with people.”

The discussion also centered on readings from the book, which discusses how human nature is essentially compassionate and gentle. Members said they believe characteristics like anger, violence and aggression are superficial and not part of the underlying nature.

Richard Marston, professor in the Department of Geography, broached the topic about the state of happiness in human beings being governed by external factors. He also talked about mental discipline.

“We cannot prevent emotions like anger and resentment, as they are but human,” Marston said. “But when such feelings plague you, stop and don’t let them overpower you. Empty your mind and let go.”

Another member, Marina Pecar, assistant professor in the College of Architecture Planning and Design, spoke about the transience of negative emotions.

“Emotions aren’t real,” she said. “Put them in the sun, in the rain and in the wind and they’ll fade away. Time is a healer.”

Members discussed different remedies for anger and stress. Price said every time she gets angry, she tries to get down to basics and find out what caused the anger. Hauck also discussed how meditation slowly helps diffuse agitation.

The group has many plans for the semester.

Besides its bi-weekly meetings, which begin with meditation and chanting of mantras — sacred verbal formulas repeated in prayer — Price said she hopes to organize a joint meeting with the Buddhist group from the University of Kansas.

The group also plans to have a lecture series by Buddhist leaders from surrounding cities and prayer sessions with sand mandalas — ritualistic geometric designs symbolic of the universe that are used in Buddhism as an aid to meditation — by Buddhist monks.

The next meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb 16 in the Union.
We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.

Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.

For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team

Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: