Friday, October 14, 2011

Rituals Performed Online

Rituals performed online has become increasingly popular over the last several years among religious communities. Virtual rituals have opened the door to fulfill certain needs for individuals and religious communities to grow and interact with one another. According to Connelly, author of “Virtual Buddhism: Buddhist Ritual in Second Life”, there are several reasons to why one would engage in virtual rituals in order to fulfill their needs. In the Buddhist community there are a lack of religious centers or teachers available to the participants who desire to be apart of community and wish to perform rituals. For many, virtual rituals “provide meaningful experiences, an opportunity to engage with others who are apart of the same community. While online, there one can learn more about the Buddhist religion and participate in rituals that may not be available to the participate offline” (Connelly). Online rituals have created an environment that fits ones needs to be apart of a community due to the easily accessible environment to gain knowledge and interact with one another. The environment is also created to feel like the offline sacred space of where the ritual is preformed. Providing a “highly visible experience and an auditory mode of communication.” Whether the ritual is preformed online or offline, according to Connelly, “both provide an opportunity to gain merit through action, which is the ultimate goal of Buddhism.”

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