Agenda Story on community Trends I’ve noticed Small Challenges Jainism faces Two Big Challenges What is “being Jain” about? Q&A
Community Story For the first time in the US, Jain kids have a circle of Jain friends right from birth. Every temple has its own cool hang out spot
Jains Are Everywhere Jains in business, education, non-profits, law, etc. More Jains in public sphere. This is a key change.
Some Trends Less rituals, more questioning (people question and doubt much more than before. Maybe good for learning) Change in language used (language poll) Jains from India are taking more roles in temples - is this keeping more culture in the community? Jainism is a way of life- only individual level so far
Small Challenges Will the religion continue without connection to Indian languages and thereby scripture? Who will take on leadership and when? What face will Jainism have in the future when our generation takes on full leadership of the Jain community?
Two Big Challenges of Jainism The challenge of Jainism from my perspective is that Jainism is practiced largely on an individual level. (nonviolence example) How will we make Jainism more than just a personal and individual level religion? Will the mark be left outside of the Jain community?(Activist poll) Jainism IS changing whether we want it to or not. What changes is our generation going to be about?
What is “being Jain” about? My thoughts Living non-ascetic life. Lives in the ‘modern’ world. Doing self reflection- meditation Training one’s mind on reducing anger, ego, greed, deceit OR reducing attachment and aversion Acting on principles: Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Aparigraha, Brahmacharya Not so concerned with (but not against): Diet Prescribed rituals
Concluding Thoughts Our history outside of India is new. Jainism is growing and the Jain community is expanding in surprising ways. The Jain community has lot of talent and resources. Jainism is changing. I hope we take a direction in which our Jainism spreads beyond our immediate families into the communities and nation we are a part of.
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