Archive for November, 2011


Final Project Proposal

For my final project, I am going to analyze how Western media portrays meditation and yoga versus Eastern perspective.  Therefore, I will look at different types of sources from each perspective.  I will look at sources from the United States’ news (NY Times, for example) and compare them to articles written by Easterners (Buddhist authors).  From the articles I have read and posted about in my blog so far this fall, here is one Western article I will analyze: NY Times article and here are two Eastern articles: Article by Buddhist teacher & Huffington Post article.  Here are some additional articles I will probably include in my media analysis (Yoga and Your Soul’s Four DesiresNo, I Do Not Owe my Yoga Mat to Vivekenanda).  From the articles I have read so far I have found that Western media focuses on meditation being non-religious and used to clear one’s mind; whereas Eastern perspective emphasizes meditation being a critical aspect of religion.  I will present my project in a power point; analyzing each of the articles from both media perspectives.  If pictures are included in the articles, I am going to include these pictures in the power point to exemplify points of each article.  Once I have completed the power point, it will be uploaded onto Slide Share in order to be presented to others.

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Islam meets reality TV

Hussein Rashid, “Islam meets reality TV,” Washington Post: On Faith, 11/11/11 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/islam-meets-reality-tv/2011/11/11/gIQAI1rhCN_blog.html)

On Sunday, November 12th, a new reality TV show, All-American Muslim, will air on TLC.  The show is about the lives of American Muslims in Dearborn, MI, where the largest concentration of Arabs in the United States is.  Even though Arabs only make up about 20 percent of the worldwide Muslim population and the American-Muslim population, the show will still exemplify the lives of a particular group of Muslims and the diversity within this group of what it means to be a Muslim.   Here is a video preview of the show.

From the article, it is obvious that the author’s perspective is positive toward the religion Islam and its followers.  In the beginning of the article, the author mentioned that in order for a large number of Americans to learn about Muslims and their daily lives, it has to be through TV since television is such a large component of American’s lives.  The idea of this show is opposite to what we talked about & viewed in class on Friday.  Muslims are usually negatively portrayed in the media (they’re shown as violent in many movies).  This show, however, will have a positive portrayal of American-Muslims.  It will bring up many different opinions and aspects of American-Muslim lives, which will hopefully help American’s past negative images of Muslims.

 

 

Lodro Rinzler, “Meditation: Finding Contentment in Everyday Life,” Huffington Post, 11/1/2011

This article, written by Lodro Rinzler (a meditation practitioner and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage), portrays what people are looking for when they walk into a meditation center.  Rinzler says that the main reason people come to meditation centers is because they are looking for a sense of contentment in their life.  The three main principles (outlined in the article) of gaining this sense of contentment are discernment, gentleness, and learning to be now.  When reading about these three principles it reminded me of the movie we watched in class about Vipassana and how it is used for people in prisons.  The word vipassana literally means to see things as they are (reality) and this concept was put very straight forward  in the article: “the heart of meditation practice is learning to be content with what is going on right now.”  Prisoners going though the 10 day session of Vipassana gave them the time and space to face their struggles, deal with them, and come to a realization of reality. This form of meditation was more of a healing type of treatment (non-religious).  The type of meditation that Rinzler talks about is more religious based, but it is obvious from many other articles that meditation in the Western world is not necessarily for religious purposes; meditation is done more to understand one’s behaviors in the present and to learn how to deal with the struggles and stresses in life.