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Table Groups for Buddhism. Introduction to the Buddha Rels 120 – Religion, Spirituality & Health 11 October 2013. Birth & Early Life. Siddhartha is born a prince in 563 BCE; he was a member of the Shakya kingdom in northern India/Nepal Sages at birth predicted:

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Table Groups for Buddhism

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introduction to the buddha rels 120 religion spirituality health 11 october 2013

Introduction to the BuddhaRels 120 – Religion, Spirituality & Health11 October 2013

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birth early life
Birth & Early Life
  • Siddhartha is born a prince in 563 BCE; he was a member of the Shakya kingdom in northern India/Nepal
  • Sages at birth predicted:
    • Would become a great ruler, OR
    • Would witness suffering and become a great spiritual teacher
  • Raised within the protected and luxurious environment offered by the palace walls
    • Educated, trained, married, had a son

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siddhartha leaves the palace
Siddhartha leaves the palace
  • Age 29, leaves to see the world outside the palace gates
  • Saw the Four Passing Sights
    • An old man, crooked and toothless
    • A sick man, wasted by illness
    • A corpse being prepared for cremation
    • A wandering holy man (shramana) with no possessions, but at peace
  • Begins to question the meaning of life
  • Decides to leave his home, family and possessions

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the great going forth
The Great Going Forth
  • Siddhartha begins his quest for enlightenment and liberation from samsara
  • Seeks a guru to teach him
    • Shramana guru teaches him to achieve a “state of nothingness” in meditation
    • Guru and yoga master teaches him to attain a trance state of “neither perception nor nonperception”
    • Joined 5 other wandering holy men to practice rigorous asceticism – body severely weakened
    • Realizes that neither luxury nor renunciation led to enlightenment

→ chooses a middle path

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sits emaciated beside a ficus date tree the bodhi tree
Sits emaciated beside a ficus (date) tree(the Bodhi tree)
  • Leaves five companions
  • Given a dish of rice and barley
  • Continues to meditate
  • Tempted by Mara to give in to fear and lust
  • Reaches out to touch the earth as a sign of his steadfast commitment
    • Earth quakes; cool stream of water washes away Mara

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siddhartha resumes meditation
Siddhartha resumes meditation
  • Remembers past lives
  • Sees the destinies of all beings according to their karma
  • Develops powers of levitation, telepathy and acute hearing
  • Realizes his capacity for insight (prajna)
  • Extinguishes all desire and ignorance

→ awakening, enlightenment (nirvana)

  • Remains in state of nirvana for 7 weeks, receiving offerings

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travels to deer park
Travels to Deer Park
  • Travels for several days – reaches a deer park where he meets his 5 former ascetic companions
  • Gautama shares with them his experience of enlightenment
    • This teaching is the Buddha’s 1st sermon

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first sangha community
First Sangha(Community)

The 5 companions also reach enlightenment and they become the 1st community (sangha)of monks (bhikkus)

Buddhism thus emerges as a distinct tradition, separate from mainstream Hinduism, and rejecting Vedic rituals

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the sangha grows
The SanghaGrows
  • As the Buddha continues to teach, he gathers more followers
    • Rules are established for the monks (bhikkus)
  • The Buddha recognized women as capable of achieving enlightenment
    • a sangha is established for the nuns (bhikkunis)
    • Rules are formulated for the nuns which include subordination to the monks

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death of the buddha
Deathof the Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, lived for many years teaching and showing the way to enlightenment

At about the age of 80, the Buddha spoke his last words to his followers, lay on his right side and died

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8 stupas created
8 Stupascreated

The body of the Buddha was cremated

  • His remains were divided into 8 portions and taken to 8 locations in northern India to be placed in relic mound shrines – called Stupas
    • These are pilgrimage sites

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self compassion
The following slides explore the spirituality of compassion and self-compassion.

The self-compassion quiz will be your spiritual assessment tool for unit 3.

Your group Spiritual Practice for this unit is also Compassion

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Self Compassion
self compassion assessment quiz
Self-Compassion Assessment Quiz
  • Complete this Quiz as your spiritual assessment tool for your Buddhism portfolio

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Compassion is our caring human response to suffering.

A compassionate heart is non-judgmental and recognizes all suffering—our own and that of others—as deserving of tenderness.

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three elements of self compassion
Three Elements of Self-Compassion:
  • Self-kindness
  • Common humanity
  • Mindfulness

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self kindness

Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate. 

Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences…

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common humanity
Common Humanity

The very definition of being “human” means that one is mortal, vulnerable and imperfect. 

Therefore, self-compassion involves recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience – something that we all go through rather than being something that happens to “me” alone.

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Self-compassion…requires taking a balanced approach to our negative emotions so that feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated…

Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time. 

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spiritual practice of compassion
Spiritual Practice of Compassion
  • In your table group, read about the basic practice of Compassion
  • As a group, choose ONEactivity to do over the next week
  • Plan to discuss your activity together next week.

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