Journal Assignment 1
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Journal Assignment 1

For this Journal Reflection assignment, you should:

(a) Discuss the Hindu concepts of Atman and Brahman. 

Then (b) Explain the notion of Hindu enlightenment (Moksha), and how Atman and Brahman relate to enlightenment. 

Finally, (c) find two different examples from everyday life that help illustrate how an understanding of these three Hindu notions (Atman, Brahman, and Moksha) would change the way people act or behave.  These two separate examples must be specific recent events (i.e. from the past six months) from the news (choose a news story from: CBS, ABC, CNN, NBC, FOX, BBC, or NYT only; a link to the story must be included for each).  So you might consider, as just one example, a news story directly related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as people who refuse to wear masks, etc.  Be sure your examples are not too general, and that you explain the examples before going on to apply the three concepts to each.  The idea is, from the lens of Hinduism, how would a devout Hindu (as described in the textbook) approach the specific case that is discussed in the news article (again, with special reference to each of the three Hindu notions of Atman, Brahman, and Moksha).  Your personal views are not required (you should just apply Hindu concepts to the examples) and be sure the examples are appropriate and do not directly mention any religion or any religious concepts we are studying.

For this Journal Response assignment, you should:

(A) Discuss the Hindu concept of yoga (generally), and how yoga relates to Atman, Brahman, and Moksha that was already discussed in the Reflection. 

(B) Then, choose a specific form of yoga (e.g. jnana, bhakti, etc.) from the ones discussed in class and explain how that specific yoga could be used to help better understand or resolve the issue from the news article that the student chose in part (c) of the Reflection.  Your discussion should be from the perspective of Hinduism and Hindu goals, and how that specific yoga might help in the situation outlined in the news.  Be sure to both (i) explain the specific yoga generally, and (ii) apply the yoga to the student's news story.  You should do this for each of the two examples from the news in part (c) of the Reflection, being sure to select a different yoga for each news example (so two different yogas total, one for each news example).

Next, (C) explain in some detail each of the Three Marks of Reality (or Existence) in Buddhism, being sure to relate each one to Buddhist enlightenment (or Nirvana), which you should also briefly explain.

Lastly, (D) return to the two examples from the news given in part (c) of the student's Reflection that you have chosen.  If one accepted the Buddhist notions of impermanence and no-self, how would that devout Buddhist approach the situations described in the news?  What viewpoint might they take regarding the issues involved?  What advice might they have in the specific situations if they accepted the Buddhist understanding of reality (as described in our textbook)?  Be sure to apply the two Buddhist concepts (impermanence and no-self) to both specific cases.

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