Food drive makes Thanksgiving happy

By Rachael Horath - Staff Reporter

Anthropology exposes people to the different ways humans live, and for one Highline anthropology professor to last week's History Seminar audience. 

Anthropology is what brought Tanna Tan to her understanding of Buddhism, and even brought her to live at a Buddhist monastery as a part of her graduate work, she told last week's History Seminar audience.

Buddhism is an "umbrella" term to encompass many different sects just as Judeo-Christian religions are many and varied.

Mindfulness was created around 1100-1200 CE in China by Siddhartha Gautama who is more commonly known as Buddha.

"Mindfulness is a way to connect breath with body," Tan said. "You don't have to be Buddhist to practice mindfulness."

Buddha, as the son of a king, was predicted by a fortune-teller to become either a great religious leader or a great king.

This prompted his father to keep Buddha from any outside influence in order to keep him from becoming a religious leader.

Feeling unfulfilled with his life, Buddha went out one night and discovered an old man, followed by a sick man and a dead man.

He found the world to be full of suffering, so he deprived himself of food and still felt unfulfilled.

"Some say he only ate one grain of rice a day," Tan said.

At this point, he decided to sit under a bodhi tree until he attained enlightenment. 

Under this tree, Buddha realized the four noble truths that are followed by most sects of Buddhism, Tan said.

The first being that life is suffering.

Second, is the cause of suffering is desire.

Third, ending desire ends suffering.

Fourth, ending suffering is possible through the eightfold path, which are eight general tenants in order to live to achieve enlightenment to get out of the cycle of suffering.

As Buddhism was exported and changed by other cultures over the years, it led to a man named Thich Nhat Hanh being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1967.

Hanh was a Zen Buddhist who used his religion to enact social change and speak out against the Vietnam War in Europe and the United States.

In the process, Hahn was exiled from Vietnam for 39 years by both the north and south.

The next History Seminar will be Marketing Apartheid about how South Africa has turned its racially violent history into tourist attractions presented by Jennifer Jones on Nov. 29, Building 3, room 102.

There will be no presentation Nov. 22 due to Thanksgiving.

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