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Buddhism . Origins. 500BC No god to worship 350 million Buddhist today- most are in south east Asia UK and Buddhism: 151,000 in Britain (2001 census). Story. Three main types of Buddhists . Theravada : Meditation Practise in a monastic community

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  • 500BC

  • No god to worship

  • 350 million Buddhist today- most are in south east Asia

  • UK and Buddhism: 151,000 in Britain (2001 census)

Three main types of buddhists
Three main types of Buddhists

  • Theravada:

    • Meditation

    • Practise in a monastic community

    • Not genially available to the broad public

    • Mostly practised in south east Asia

  • Mahayana:

    • They are open for people to join them

    • Developed a their own idea of Buddha being a spirit rather than being a human being

    • Mainly practice in China, Japan and Korea.

  • Tibetan:

    • Enthuses the magical and mystical aspect of Buddhism

    • The believe the world should not be rejected but use it as a medicating technique



P ractices and beliefs
Practices and beliefs

  • Follow teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. Lived in India in sixth century BC. He is Buddha. His name means someone who has gained enlightenment.

  • Enlightenmentmeans being able to see things as they really are, turning on a light. Buddha saw the truth.

  • Don’t believe there is an all powerful god. They don't believe Buddha was more than a man.

  • If you don’t find enlightenment before you die, you will be reborn again.

  • Born, growing old, dying and being reborn is a never ending cycle. Breaking out of it is called nirvana.

  • Buddhists try to reach nirvana by meditation, training your mind to concentrate

  • Lotus flower: Pure and good

Practices and beliefs
Practices and beliefs

  • Buddhists repeat everyday "I take refuge in the Buddha I take refuge in the DhammaI take refuge in the sangha"

  • Buddha is the first jewel. Respect him as he showed the way to enlightenment

  • Dhammais the second jewel. It is the Buddha's teaching. Means natural law.

  • Sangha is the third jewel. Means everyone who follows the Buddha, such as monks or nuns.

  • So meditation is quite possibly the most important part of worship. Read from scriptures. Burn incense Offer small presents to a statue of Buddha

  • Light candles- their light has a way of showing that the Buddha's teaching helps you to see important things. Meet in a temple which contains a shrine.

  • Decorated with gold. No seats just the floor. Bow or put hands together. Some lie flat on the floor. Monasteries are where monks teach how to read and write or people just attend.

  • Stupa is a building shaped like a rounded hill. Buddha's ashes were scattered in eight different places of which were important to him whilst alive. Stupas are built over the scatterings.


Five preceptsa rule or guide on how you should live

  • Not to take anything which has not been given

  • Not to harm anything which is alive

  • Not to have affairs

  • Not to talk carelessly or unkindly

  • Not to drink alcohol or use drugs wrongly

What do buddhists eat
What do Buddhists eat?

  • In the time of the Buddha, the monks were expected to eat everything that was put in their begging bowl without discrimination, including meat or rotten food.

  • If monks knew or suspected that an animal had been slaughtered specifically to feed monks, they were to refuse to take the meat. On the other hand, leftover meat from an animal slaughtered to feed a lay family was acceptable.

  • The First Precept of Buddhism is not to harm anything which is alive. The Buddha told his followers not to kill, participate in killing or cause to have any living thing killed. To eat meat, some argue, is taking part in killing.

  • The opinions and restrictions on eating meat vary among different Buddhists.

  • Most Buddhists are vegetarian so therefore don’t eat meat or fish, some are vegan, and some particularly from China and Vietnam do not eat onion, garlic, or leak either as these are referred to as the ‘five pungent spices’.

What do buddhists wear
What do Buddhists wear?

If you are a traditional Buddhist you generally wear robes.

The robes are called a Civara. Wearing a Civara is the first of a monk's four traditional requirements. Monks are never to enter a village without wearing all three parts of their robe:

  • An inner robe, from the waist to the knee

  • An upper robe around the torso and the shoulders

  • An outer robe used as an over garment

    Buddhist also wear mala, which is a bracelet that has 108 beads. The 108 beads on the mala represents the 108 human passions that Avalokiteshvara assured when telling the beads. They also have 3 extra beads on the mala to represent the completion of a cycle of mantras. The 3 extra bead also symbolize the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. The hidden string that passed through all the beads symbolized the penetrating power of the Buddha’s.

Things you might not know
Things you might not know

  • Monks all aim to reach enlightment- a complete state of peace

  • All food, travel and clothing is brought from donations, there is no other funding.

  • Buddists can go to any temple as long as they have the donations to pay for it.

  • They wear shorts underneath there robes

  • They can use mobile phones- as long as they don’t effect the teaching and practises of budda ( some even have ipads)

  • They shave their heads and eyebrows to prevent vanity

  • They do have women who are monks they tend to practise in the countryside separately.

  • You can choose to stop being a monk whenever you want and return whenever you want. However this will prolongreaching the stage of enlightment.

Daily life of a monk
Daily life of a monk

4am- meditate for one hour, chant for one hour

6am- walk around the local neighbourhood collecting food (this is called alms)

8am- sit down (on the floor) for breakfast then make blessing for world peace until 12

12pm- lunch- this is the last solid food they will eat until the next morning (fasting)

1pm- Classes- these include learning about Buddha, improving knowledge in various subjects.

6pm- meditate and pray for 2 hours

8pm- homework and bed


  • Senker, C. (2003). Buddhist Calendar. In: Cooper, A My Buddhist Year. Great Britain: Hodder Wayland. p28.

Key words
Key words

  • Dharma: the truth

  • Enlightenment: Being perfectly kind and generous

  • Pilgrims: people who make special journeys to a holy place

  • Shrine: a place where people come to worship

  • Karma: this means action

  • NKT: The New Kadampa Tradition of Buddhism