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S PIRITUALITY, M ORAL C ODES AND D IETARY R ULES : W AYS OF B EING J AIN AMONG S ECOND - GENERATION J AINS IN THE USA AND UK Dr. Bindi Shah Roehampton.

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Presentation on theme: "S PIRITUALITY, M ORAL C ODES AND D IETARY R ULES : W AYS OF B EING J AIN AMONG S ECOND - GENERATION J AINS IN THE USA AND UK Dr. Bindi Shah Roehampton."— Presentation transcript:

1 S PIRITUALITY, M ORAL C ODES AND D IETARY R ULES : W AYS OF B EING J AIN AMONG S ECOND - GENERATION J AINS IN THE USA AND UK Dr. Bindi Shah Roehampton University

2 R ESEARCH Q UESTIONS How are young Jains interpreting Jain Dharma; what kind of religious practices are they involved in or emphasize? How might these be different to their parents' generation? What kinds of organisations or networks are young Jains building and what are the goals of these organisations/networks? Do young Jains translate the principle of 'Ahimsa' into wider concerns in society, such as non-violent solutions to conflict, concern for the environment, promoting vegetarianism, sustainable living, etc? If so, how do they do this?

3 M ETHOD In-depth interviews - 30 in each country. Observations - bi-annual conventions; other events or activities organised by young Jains or for young Jains. Analysis of magazines, newsletters, Internet sites and course/workshop materials produced and consumed by young Jains. Analysis of Yahoo Group discussion

4 R ESEARCH TO DATE Interviews with second-generation Jains in the USA, June-July from LA, 9 from NYC and 11 from Chicago/Midwest. Observations at the YJA 2008 convention Interviews with second-generation Jains in UK, September 2008 onwards 15 from the north/northwest area of London, 1 from Leicester, 1 from Northampton. Observation of day-long events organised by Young Jains UK.

5 E MPHASIS ON D IETARY R ULES & V EGETARIANISM TO M AINTAIN C OMPASSION PM: being vegetarian is one of the most important elements to maintain in todays world, um, because I just think that that's like the core of our belief system is having compassionate... being compassionate towards all living beings and you cant, I dont think one can be compassionate if they are being... if they are not vegetarian.

6 V EGETARIANISM TO V EGANISM SS linked her vegan practice to the treatment of animals and had omitted all animal products from her diet and was trying to do so from other aspects of her life. Veganism was supported in cities like London, New York & Chicago where alternatives to dairy available, many vegan restaurants and groups who promote a greater consciousness about the benefits of a vegan diet.

7 J AIN D HARMA AS A MORAL COMPASS CM thought off Jain Dharma as a GPS system that helped him manoeuvre himself in a troubled world: theres a lot of conflict in todays world, you know, um, theres a lot of negativity in the media, and I think these five principles (vows) are very positive, you know, and they, they do you a great deal of good in a very negative world.

8 P RACTICING M ORAL C ODES MAKES B ETTER H UMAN B EINGS For MS the key aspects of Jain Dharma are: just kind of about like living you know in a good way. To me like … sure, diet is important … you know but to me its lot more important how you live your life. So pretty much like doing things that youre supposed to do, you know, as far as non hatred, you know not having bad thoughts.... I used to think I have a bad temper so I try to like hold myself down. I dont … I havent gotten mad in so long you know..., just trying to be like a good person. If you like calm your soul kind of thing.

9 S EARCH FOR E QUANIMITY For DS the key elements of Jain Dharma are, equanimity and remaining in that balanced state of mind with what you do and whats around you and how you interact and finding that balance within you and I think the whole concept of detachment... KS emphasized introspection and thinking about your intentions while youre doing different things, or doing things with awareness.

10 E LEMENTS OF THIS S PIRITUAL J OURNEY vegetarian/vegan living by Jain Dharmas codes of conduct devote time to a regular practice of swadhaya, individual study and reflection Meditation self-disciplinary practices such as athai and maun vrats a few have or are contemplating finding a guru to guide them.


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