Darkrein wrote:Hi, I've been studying Buddhism for a few months on my own, and I'm interested in attending a local Meditation center (are these the same as an actual temple?). The only thing is, I would be the only white man attending a predominantly Indian group. I know that our local Indian culture is very tight-knit, and my only concern is if i would be accepted. Does anyone else have any experience attending a center where they are in the minority?
Is it a Buddhist center? I ask because it is a little bit unusual to find a Buddhist center developed by Indians in the U.S.A. Mostly Indian communities are practicing some form of Hindu worship, or alternatively Muslim or Jain practices. This is because Buddhism largely disappeared from India for centuries until recently.
I also ask because for Indian Hindus, especially in India and Nepal it is rare to ever let a white person into a sacred temple. This is because they don't believe we can be sincere devotees, being born into another ethnicity makes us like the untouchable caste. Here in the U.S.A it is a bit different, but some of this same latent prejudice may exist. However, this inherent prejudice is absent in Buddhism. This does not mean that Chinese or Japanese or Tibetans or Burmese will not be prejudice in some way, but that it is not embedded in the Buddhist tradition or teachings and would only be a reflection of something else.