Introduction to Buddhism
Exploring Faiths is a program designed to feature a specific religion and give a representative of that tradition the opportunity to share their practices, teachings, and thoughts. Mr. Gareth Young introduced the audience to Buddhism, more specifically, Zen Buddhism and how it has had an impact in his life. We learned that there are various types of Buddhism around the world and it has become more prominent overtime in America. He also briefly discussed whether Buddhism is seen as a religion or a philosophy and that it is still debated today.
Here is a brief information on what is Zen Buddism;
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that developed in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and East to Japan.
The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (dʑjen) (pinyin: Chán), which in turn is derived from theSanskrit word dhyāna, which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state".
Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings. As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.
The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogācāra, the Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and Huayan. ThePrajñāpāramitā literature and, to a lesser extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential.
Who is Gareth Young
Gareth Young was drawn to spirituality in the late 1990's at the height of a successful twenty-year career in finance and M&A. He left the corporate world in 2006 to pursue both independent business livelihood and his spiritual path. In addition to becoming a successful entrepreneur, Mr. Young is one of the founding members of the Red Clay Sangha, an Atlanta Buddhist community, and is very involved in interfaith activities, currently serving as president of the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta. He is an author whose credits include two novels, "The Grace of Guilt," and "An Unexamined Life," a contribution to "Sacred Spaces," along with his weekly blog, Interfaith and Spirituality. He also has as several other writing credits and books in process.
Mr. Young formed finanSight in 2006 to provide specialist services small and medium sized businesses and startups, and during this time helped Georgia based businesses recover millions of dollars in tax credits and raise over millions of dollars in startup capital. Prior to founding finanSight, Mr. Young was Executive Director of Corporate Development for BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta, where he was responsible for developing and executing business expansion strategies through M&A, partnerships, and other transactions. Working closely with business units, Mr. Young identified strategic needs and alternative courses of action, and helped the business establish priorities and execute. Where alliances, acquisitions, or divestitures were required, Mr. Young selected appropriate candidates, and staffed and led teams to negotiate, execute and close transactions that realized immediate improvement in operational and financial performance, and laid the foundation for financially responsible sustained growth.
A graduate of Jesus College, Oxford in the UK, with an M.A. in mathematics, Mr. Young is married and lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children (ages 12 and 14), where he is actively involved in community and spiritual activities.
7:00 – 7:20pm Reception (light refreshments)
7:20 – 7:25pm Welcome & introduction
7:25 – 8:05pm Lecture
8:05 – 8:20pm Q&A