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Buddhism Basics. Attempts to give answers to life’s essential questions Emphasis on “things to do” rather than “things to believe” Direct religious experience VS blind faith Tolerant of any religion that allows a person to find “truth” of himself / herself
- Freedom from ignorance
- State of permanent tranquility and peace
Siddhartha Gautama born to Kshatriya caste
Believed to be incarnation of Vishnu
reincarnation, samsara, karma, dharma, moksha (nirvana)
caste system (Brahmin caste power) - inequality
Could reach Nirvana (Moksha) only if Brahmin
language of Sanskrit was for educated (elite) only
Used common language Pali to teach
Hindu rituals and offerings to gods
Insignificant religious activities that took away from quest for enlightenmentBuddhism Hindu Roots
Gave him a means to ending his despair
‘Great Going Forth’
Inspired to leave life of luxury and find a spiritual solution to human problems
Sought spiritual knowledge through
meditation, breathing, reducing food intake
Realized self denial too extreme and unproductive
Determined best course was the MIDDLE WAY
(path between both extremes; a lifestyle of moderation)
3 Characteristics of Existence
1. Dukkha = Dissatisfaction
2. Anatta = Selflessness
3. Annica = Impermanence
Evolved out of Buddha’s search for the cause and treatment of unhappiness in life.
2. Origin of suffering
The root is negative desire, craving & greed for the wrong pleasures
Search for more than our basic needs
3. Extinction of suffering
The goal is to end suffering by removing negative desire, craving & greed to achieve nirvana
4. Path leading to the extinction of suffering
Adopting Middle Way and follow the Noble 8 Fold Path
1. Right View (Understanding)
– know the 4 Noble Truths
2. Right Intention (Thought)
– Free mind from desire and craving and cruel thought
- Nurture good thoughts
3. Right speech
- no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language
4. Right conduct (Action)
- by following the Five Precepts
5. Right livelihood
- avoid harmful occupations and promote peace
6. Right Effort:
- Awareness of state of mind and body
- promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts
7. Right Mindfulness:
- become aware of your body, mind and feelings
8. Right Concentration:
- Attainment of higher state of consciousness or tranquility through meditation
- translated as "not harming" or an absence of violence
- avoidance of fraud and economic exploitation.
- For monks and nuns, this means complete celibacy
- For the laity, adultery is forbidden, along with any sexual harassment or exploitation, including that within marriage.
- name calling, gossip, etc.
- The main concern here is that intoxicants cloud the mind
Triple Jewel or Three Refuges
- make it easier to follow his teachings
- protect oneself from a difficult existence
- put one on correct path of spiritual journey
Sangha (teachers, monks & nuns)
First steps toward Enlightenment
Practiced by Bodhisattvas
A monk asked Tozen when he was weighing some flax, "What is Buddha?"
Tozen said, "This flax weighs three pounds.”
WASH YOUR BOWL
A monk told Joshu, "I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me."
Joshu asked, "Have you eaten your rice porridge?
The monk replied, "I have eaten."
Joshu said, "Then you had better wash your bowl."
At that moment the monk was enlightened.
The direct experience of truth (our true nature)
Zen is beyond:
1 - Rinzai Sect – ‘Sudden awakening’ to
2 - Soto Sect – ‘Gradual awakening’
Tripitaka (Three Baskets) ~ considered to be the most accurate of Buddha’s teachings which consist of:
Dalai Lama - “Ocean of Wisdom”
Exile but no longer - prime minister
government as a supporter of Tibetan
In your opinion, did the Dalai Lama make the right decision by leaving Tibet? What other options did he have?