Friday, October 31, 2008

Buddhism in brief

Several times we have been asked to detail the basic teachings of Buddhism so here they are

There are what are known as the Four Noble Truths
  • Suffering exists

  • Suffering arises from attachment to desires

  • Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases

  • Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Noble Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path contains three aspects

Wisdom which is
Right View
Right Thought

Morality which is
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood

Meditation which is
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Contemplation

And then there are the hindrances that get in the way and are :

Sensuous lust

Aversion and ill will

Sloth and torpor

Restlessness and worry

Sceptical doubt

Essentially Buddhism has two major schools, which have diverged in their teaching over time and most Buddhists follow one or the other of the major schools

At a higher level of understanding there are no differences in the teachings and as is usually the case it is humans who have chosen to interpret the teachings differently

Buddhism is not considered to be a religion but rather as the truth

In particular the teachings of Gautama Buddha are considered to be the truth

Many Christian ideas are taken from Buddhism, which was being taught in the Middle East at the time Christianity appeared

In it's pure form Buddhism is the perennial wisdom

Unlike many teachings the perennial wisdom can explain all questions

Karma and reincarnation are central to understanding why our world is as it is, and Buddhism teaches the truth of both

Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people around the world, and once it's teachings are understood provides a good basis for guiding one's life

To understand Buddhism better an expansion of the above is required and this can be obtained through reading and there are many books on the subject available in most languages

Such a journey is very personal, which is why we do not go into further detail here

Typically an evolving journey of consciousness evolution looks at all the world's major religions and philosophies as one tries to make sense of our world and it's different teachings

There is truth and it can be found

Truth is higher than religion

And once you have found truth you will know because it resonates with your heart

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