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Introduction to Buddhism

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  1. Introduction toBuddhism

  2. Buddhism is similar to Western religions in that ….. ….it has a founder …it tells a narrative story …. it has rituals, saints, holy places, shrines, prayers, gods, rites of passage, scripture, monks/nuns Siddhartha Gautama Buddhism differs from Western religions in that…. … there is no God: no Almighty, no creator, no all knowing God …there is no soul. An eternal unchanging soul is an illusion. An personal, anthromorphic God is an artifice created by man.

  3. Origin of Buddhism Spread of Buddhism during the lifetime of the Buddha

  4. The total pursuit of pleasure; trying to get or having everything The total denial of pleasure; giving up everything Siddhartha experienced two extremes : (1) Hedonism: (2) Asceticism The Middle Path By avoiding these two extremes, we discover a Middle Path, a path of moderation which opens the eyes, bestows understanding, and leads to peace of mind, wisdom, and full enlightenment  Nirvana.

  5. Anatman Buddhism analyzes human existence as made up of five aggregates or "bundles" (skandhas): the material body, feelings, perceptions, predispositions or karmic tendencies, and consciousness. When you die, the 5 skandhas disassemble. A person is only a temporary combination of these aggregates, which are subject to continual change. No one remains the same for any two consecutive moments. Who we are is actually changing in every moment. There is no such thing as the self or soul (atman). Indeed, Buddhism regards it as a mistake to conceive of any lasting unity behind the elements that constitute an individual. The Buddha held that belief in such a self results in egoism, craving, and hence in suffering. Thus he taught the doctrine of anatman, or the denial of a permanent soul. Everything changes. Permanence is an illusion

  6. (No-self, cont’d) The Five Components (skandhas) of personhood Body Body (rupa) Will Person Sensation (vedana) Consciousness (vinnana) Perception (sanna) Will or volition (sankhara) Mind (nama)

  7. The Four Noble Truths are a summary of the Buddha’s first sermon after he achieved enlightenment: • Dukha: suffering • Tanha: craving • Nirvana: “no passion” or “blowing out the candle” • Astapada: the Eightfold Path

  8. Dukkha • Dukkha includes the following undesirable parts of human life: • * birth • * aging and physical deterioration • * disease • * the presence of hateful objects • * the absence of lovable objects • * not getting what we want • * getting what we don’t want 1. The Noble Truth of Suffering

  9. 2. The Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering Tanha craving for pleasure, craving for [continued] existence, ( craving for the cessation of existence.* *Some traditions make (c) a craving for prosperity or for personal happiness.

  10. 3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering Nirvana

  11. 4. The Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the cessation of suffering Astapada

  12. Elaboration of the Noble Eightfold Path • Right views (Sammaditthi) • Right intent (Sammasankappa) • Right speech (Sammavaca) • Right conduct (Sammakammanta) • Right livelihood (Sammaajiva) • Right effort (Sammavayama) • Right mindfulness (Samma sati) • Right concentration (Sammasamadhi) Wisdom (prajna) Morality (sila) Meditation (samadhi)

  13. Body that a human being typically clings to existence and, as a result, becomes subject to suffering (dukkha). Will It is through the five skandhas (components, attributes) Knowing and seeing the nature of, the origin of, and how to extinguish (end) the five components of body [corporeality], sensation, consciousness, perception, and volition brings about the cessation of selfish craving.

  14. The Triple Refuge also known as the 3 Jewels of Buddhism The most basic expression of Buddhist faith, repeated and learned early by those beginning in Buddhism” “I take refuge in the Buddha” “I take refuge in the Dharma” “I take refuge in the Sangha” Siddhartha Gautama The teachings of the Buddah; the example of his life and practice. The community of the Buddha’s followers

  15. The Heart Sutra The Lotus Sutra The Diamond Sutra The Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra Famous Buddhist Scriptures The Pali Canon Older, smaller and more philosophy than religion Collection of the Buddhas words and teachings as remembered by his followers (the sangha) soon after his death Theravada Buddhism Later Sutras Later, much bigger and more religion than philosophy Mahayana Buddhism

  16. VinayaPitaka ("Discipline Basket"), dealing with rules for monks and nuns SuttaPitaka (Sutra/Sayings Basket), discourses, mostly ascribed to the Buddha, but some to disciples AbhidhammaPitaka, variously described as philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, etc. Sanskrit: Tripiṭaka ="three baskets"

  17. Buddhism remained a small movement within Hinduism until the Emperor Ashoka converted to Buddhism and enthusiastically encouraged its spread across India, making it the state religion in 260 B.C. Monks traveled overseas through Asia founding monasteries, making it an international religion. Emperor Ashoka

  18. Mahayana Temple, Queens, NY outside inside

  19. 2 Major Forms of Buddhism Theravada Buddhists minimal view of Siddhartha as a holy man, guide and exemplar. Mahayana Buddhists revere and worship the eternal presence of the Buddha in people Aharants = accomplished ones, monks who achieved enlightenment Bodhisatvas = those who deferred enlightenment in order to bring the message of deliverance to the many. “If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha”* Gautama did not want to be remembered or revered as an individual and avoided the cult of personality; the teaching alone was important. Mahayana would say the aharants hugged too selfishly to achieving enlightenment and revere instead the Bodhisatvasas good examples of how Buddhism should be lived. *Lin-Chi Zen Buddhist saying: 9th century

  20. You are not on your own to achieve enlightenment and it is not all internal/psychological. There are saints and saviors who can take you there: Bodhisattvas Pure land Buddhism There are rituals and prayers that can take you there. Reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha in order to attain rebirth in the western pure land of Sukhavati. Mahayana Buddhism departs from Theravada Buddhism: Hui-yuan founded Pure Land Buddhism here on the northwest slope of Mt.Luhsan in 402. Also, the Donglin Temple is located here