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Transcript of Buddhism
Can be born into Eastern paradise before achieving nirvana
become on the way to enlightenment
and or come back to help others to enlightenment
delay enlightenment to become one
a noble thing
-Buddhists do not have a special day of the week for congregational worship.
-Theravadan Buddhists and Mahayanan Buddhists can make offerings to images of the Buddha at any time.
-In areas where there is no temple, Buddhists make offerings at home.
-items offered both at home and temple might be flowers, candles, or incense.
-Incense represents good virtue.
-Flowers, which wither and die, remind people of the impermanence of everything.
-In the offering, Buddhists recite “Three Jewels”:
“I take refuge in the Buddha.
I take refuge in the Dharma.
I take refuge in the Sangha.” (Exploring the Religions of Our World)
Bowing to the image of the Buddha is a sign of profound respect rather than submission to a deity, as Buddha is not a god.
-The last three paths of the Noble Eightfold Path are categorized as meditation, therefore meditation is central to every branch of Buddhism.
-Meditation is also a means of heightened awareness.
-It helps people cultivate the awareness of their dreams, goals, and self-identities, and gives the means to engage in good karma.
-Two common forms of meditation, taught by Siddhartha Gautama are Mindfulness of Breath, and Meditation of Loving-Kindness:
-Mindfulness of Breath: focuses on breathing as the person learns to pay close attention to the flow of breath. It strengthens the power of concentration because as one focuses on their breathing, other thoughts try to intrude, but through practice one is able to channel their inner calm and allow it to enter their mind and their while person.
-Mediation of Loving-Kindness: when the mind is calmed, a person can focus on the self, and says loving things about themselves:
-May I be a loving person
-May I have a heart filled with love
-May I be a peace-filled person
-May I be a fulfilled person
--After focusing on self, they can then turn their attention to others, to someone they love, someone they are “Neutral” about, and to someone
-A part of daily life.
-Puja takes place in monasteries for monks, or at a home shrine for Buddhist laity.
-Home Shrine consists of: Image of the Buddha, and sometimes representations of ancestors.
-In a normal puja ritual participants offer flowers, fruit, a bowl of water, incense, and lighted candles to honor, and respect Buddha.
Significance of each object:
Flowers-though initially offering beauty, they wither and point to the impermanence of all life.
Fruit-a reminder of what good conduct brings.
Water-a sign of purity, which is the example of the Buddha and the goal for everyone.
Incense-the sweet odor of incense is a reminder of what good conduct brings.
Candlelight-dispels the darkness of delusion and ignorance.
-Buddhists also offer gratitude to the Buddha for the Dharma, which points to the way of Enlightenment and Nirvana.
-Reverence to the Buddha is shown by removing one’s shoes , folding one’s hands, and bowing. Then prayers, mantras, the Three Jewels, and the Five Precepts are chanted.
-Two major categories for Buddhist festivals; One is centered around the life of the Buddha, the other around the sangha.
-Minor festivals mark the seasons, especially spring and autumn.
-The festivals depend upon the countries and regions.
-Celebrating the Buddha: Visakha (“Buddha Day”) is the most holy day of the year for Theravada Buddhists. It is celebrated on the full moon day of May. They emphasis for this festival is on enlightenment. Theravada Buddhists light colorful lanterns and candles around the monasteries and an image of the Buddha is decorated and a monk gives a sermon on aspects of the life of the Buddha.
-Celebrating Sangha: the sangha began as a begging order of the monks, they would wander preaching the Dharma during the three months of the monsoon season, which became known as the “Rains Retreat”. (this time is considered a time of great holiness, and the end of the “retreat” is celebrated with a great festival, and at a special ceremony monks are presented with new robes)
-Celebrating the Buddhist Life Cycle: in Buddhist religion, dying is seen as a sacred act. Death rituals are more important in Buddhism because of the Buddhists’ great interest in life after death and the rebirth of a person. (the most important interest is helping a person move from samsara to Nirvana)
-There are no specific initiation ceremonies for infants, and it based on local customs. (the same with marriage ceremonies (it is usually a civil ceremony))
Sutras- means thread, they are all connected into understanding Nirvana. They are scriptures from Buddha and other enlightened masters.
There are endless amount of Sutras, some are books and others are just a few lines of writing.
NOT all scripture is considered to be a Sutra.
One example is the Abhidhoarma (this book explains the analysis and philosophy rather than the actual sermon of Buddha)
- the most famous scripture and is the earliest collection of Buddhist teachings. The original scripture.
There are two types of scripture
1. Canonical Texts: Sutras- are the actual teachings of Buddha. This scripture is used in all different branches of Buddhism.
2. Non-Canonical Texts- Not sayings of Buddha, more observations on Canonical Texts, Books about Dalai Lama are located in this section.
Types of Non Canonical Texts are- Vinaya Pitaka (rules for monks and nuns
Sutta Pitaka- Discourses, mostly ascribed by Buddha
Abhidhamma Pikaka- Variously described as philosophy and metaphysics.
Tipitaka- the original texts
Sanskrit- the oldest language in Indic, from Buddha, scriptures
Tantric texts- Texts on rituals
Pali Canon- 3 collections of early Buddhist texts
"Taught his listeners not to be seduced by the authority of any text...but to discover themselves how to live an authentically human life." (God is Not One)
1. Buddha is not a God-
-ordinary, simple man who lived 2,500 years ago
-teachings are not set rules to follow
-saw into the "true nature of reality"
2. You should not believe anything without thinking-
-Buddhists should test everything they read or hear- to see if it lives up to their own standards
3. Gods and Deities are cultural-
-some Buddhist schools have Gods while others dont
-Buddhism doesnt teach "atheism", pantheism, or any other position on gods and deities"
4. Don't worry too much about the nature of God
-more important to take time to end your own suffering than to find the answer on the true nature of God- + other unanswerable questions
5. The Purpose of Life-
-life exists in itself- there is no other meaning attached to it
-all human beings and animals wish for happiness and not to suffer
-the purpose of life is to end your suffering
6. The afterlife depends on this life
-all actions have consequences- karma
- the consequences of acts in this life will be felt out in the next one- reincarnation
-Buddhist aim- to educate yourself and meditate to escape this cycle of rebirth- to get to Nirvana= Liberation and ending the cycle of rebirth
7. Books and teachings are very important
-read and listen to great teachers and teachings- one of the most important things we can do in our lives
-do this so we can "undo" our ignorance
8. Meditation is key
-"Without calming our mind, and examining our mind’s nature and its beliefs, we can never reach enlightenment."
-sitting down- meditation during everyday activities- mindfulness
9. Healing Comes from mind
- external situation is created by our internal minds- true for our health and state of our bodies
-meditations and prayers to help heal themselves
10. It's up to ourselves
-not up to others to make us meditate or study
-we are responsible for creating our own suffering - up to us to end suffering- requires personal wisdom and commitment
11. Our bodies are precious-
- a life reborn as a human is considered a very precious thing- long life to end our suffering- so it is important to keep healthy
-"To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."
12. Your spiritual community is important
-dont have to go to a temple to be Buddhist
-being by other people who have the same views is beneficial to you and your motivation, purpose, and understanding
13. Interconnectedness is the nature of reality
-everything is interconnected- objects, beings, and concepts is connected to what caused it and what is around it= "emptiness"
-what i choose in my life will effect everyone else
14. Its good to be good
-karma- logical extension from everything being interconnected
-what we do to others, will effect our lives
- Buddhism- advocates doing good deeds
-5 guides to live a happy life-
1. not to lie, steal, cheat (defraud), kill or injure others, hurt relationships, not to cloud your mind with intoxicants
15. Compassion is key
- compassion is a natural extension of understanding and wisdom
-with true wisdom, we become more compassionate to the people we meet- we then ourselves grow wiser
16. Sex is not bad or good
- not important- act, when, with who
important- motivation, attachment, consequences
17. Strive for Balance
- important not to be too strict on yourself or others
-moderation= key to success
18. Its never too late to begin
-enlightenment can be a quick process, or difficult and happen many lifetimes later
-never to late to start practicing and learning about the right way to live
-less ignorance= less suffering
The Four Noble Truths-
-foundation of Buddhism
1.The truth of suffering (dukkha) - temporary, conditional- it will end (we are also temporary)- Buddha says that before we can understand life, we have to understand ourselves
2.The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya) - the cause of suffering is craving or thirst. We look for things that we think make us happy- we never remain satisfied- this craving grows from ignorance- get mad when the world doesnt behave the way we think it should- karma and rebirth fall along this Truth
3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)- hope for a cure - through practice, we can put an end to craving- ending it is englightenment (Nirvana)
4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga) - The Eightfold Path- living the doctrine and walking the path
The Eightfold Path
- the means by which enlightenment may be realized- Buddha described this in his first sermon after his enlightenment- how he could teach others to reach enlightenment
*** not a series of steps to be mastered
- supports wisdom
- cultivate wisdom (like Right View) 3 kinds 1. intention of renunciation vs. intention of desire 2. intention of good will vs. intention of ill will 3. the intention of harmlessness vs. intention of harmfulness
- speaking truthfully and honestly, promotes harmony and good will- 1. abstain from false speech (lies) 2. do not slander 3. abstain from rude, abusive language 4. do not indulge in gossip
- acting in harmony with the other aspects of the path- we act rightly
- way of making a living that does no harm to others
- exert oneself to develop wholesome qualities and release unwholesome qualities) four aspects 1. the effort to prevent unwholesome qualities 2. the effort to extinguish unwholesome qualities that have already risen 3. the effort to cultivate skillful, or wholesome qualities 4. the effort to strengthen the wholesome qualities that have already risen
- to be fully present
- focusing all of ones mental faculties onto one physical or mental object and practicing the Four Absorptions (Dhyanas)=means to experience directly the wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings
1. passions, desires, and unwholesome thoughts are released- person feels rapture
2. intellectual activity fades and is replaced by tranquility of mind- rapture is still present
3. the rapture fades and is replaced by clarity
4. all sensation ceases and only mindful equanimity remains
*******NOTE Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood are part of the “moral conduct” section of the Path. They are connected to the Five Precepts (1. not killing 2. not stealing 3. not misusing sex 4. not lying 5. not abusing intoxicants)
*******NOTE Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration are associated with mental discipline
Buddhism is a monotheistic religion that is based on the teachings of Buddha. Buddhists strive to end suffering and find inner peace through entering nirvana. They follow the scripture of Tripitaka and believe that suffering can be erased through meditation and healing from the mind.
Siddhartha Gautama (560 BCE)
• born a Hindu of the warrior caste
• father was the king
• mother had a dream that an elephant touched her right side and she conceived.
• Siddhartha emerged from his mother's right side without any help and took seven steps. He stopped and said "No more births for me" (Exploring World Religions).
• His father tried to shield him from the world's suffering, and he lived as a pampered prince.
• At nineteen, he traveled further than where his father permitted and saw Four Sights that changed his life:
• 1.) old man
• 2.) very sick man
• 3.) corpse
• 4.) wandering holy man without possessions
• At twenty-nine, Siddhartha left for the edge of the forest, and sent of all his princely clothes and jewels back to his father.
• For the next six years, Siddhartha took up the life of a wandering ascetic.
• At one point, Siddhartha sat under a bodhi tree and sought answers to questions about life.
• In his meditations, he was tempted by Mara, the stealer of Wisdom.
• He went deeper into meditation and finally reached enlightenment about suffering and the cycle of rebirth.
• He returned to Deer Park and told them that neither indulgence nor asceticism could not release people from samsara.
• The solution was the Middle Way- leads to moksha (freedom from the cycle)
• The Middle Way consists of following the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.
• The five wandering ascetics decided to be disciples of the Buddha. They formed a community of monks called the sangha.
• He lay on his right side dying and told the gathered crowd that nothing in the world was permanent, and that they must wok out their own salvation with diligence.
• Stupas (monuments) were built over his relics and became places of Buddhist pilgrimages.
The Four Councils
• Siddhartha left nothing behind after his death, so his legacy was the Dharma (his teachings).
• His followers carried on his practice of teaching, and to preserve the teachings and their purity, the First Council of 500 monks was formed to have periodic recitation gatherings.
• 100 years later, the Second Council was formed to address questionable practices of some "liberal" monks.
• There was a split and two groups formed: the more conservative Sthaviras and the more liberal Mahasanghikas.
• They continued to subdivide into 18 sects (10 Stahaviras, and 8 Mahasanghikas).
• Only the Theravada sect from the Sthavira group still exists today, but the Mahasanghikas are a forerunner of Mahayana Buddhism.
• The Third Council was formed upon the conversion of King Ashoka.
• King Ashoka extended Buddhism beyond India with the invasion of the Muslims, and it had been established in many regions in Asia.
• In India during the Gupta dynasty, Buddhism thrived. Many Buddhist universities were created.
• The Huns invaded India, and Buddhism almost became extinct.
• Tibet became a vibrant Buddhist region.
"Like Hindus, Buddhists trace the human problem to the karma-fueled cycle of life, death, and rebirth known as samsara. But Buddhists are more explicit about precisely why it is undesirable to wander fom rebirth to rebirth. Rebirth is undesirable, they say, because life is marked by suffering. So the problem Buddhism seeks to overcome is suffering, which Buddhists refer to as dukka. Its goal is nirvana, which literally means "blowing out" but in this case refers ti extinguishing suffering" (Prothero).
• The end of the Pala dynasty was also the end of Buddhism in India until the twentieth century.
• Communism devastated Buddhism, but there are small signs of revival today.
Nov 5, 2012 - Radical Buddhist groups preventing doctors from delivering assistance to areas of western Myanmar affected by intense Buddhist-Muslim violence.
Nov 29, 2012 - Violence came upon Rakhine, Burma, killing 167 people and leaving 100,000 people homeless. Muslims in slums. Buddhist leaders feel threatened by Muslims.
April 5, 2013 - 8 dead and 15 wounded in Indonesian immigration center b/c of fight. UN refugees issued statement calling for calmness. Buddhist-Muslim conflict spreading even more.
July 12, 2013 - Myanmar court convicted 22 Buddhists for sparking anti-Muslim violence and bloodshed.
July 7, 2014 - Dalai Lama delivers speech to Sri Lanka Buddhists.
September 22, 2014 - Chinese President Xi Jinping accepts role of Buddhism in their culture. 10-30 years ago, no communist leader would acknowledge Buddhism.
about 38% of all Buddhists
closest to original Buddhism (before the four councils
Four Noble Truths
Hindrances to Enlightenment
Little to no formal worship
Mental development through meditation
Searching for nirvana
Referred to as the path of the elders
6 % of Buddhists
also believe in the Bodhisattva
believe in the innately enlightened mind
Use tantric ritual more often than meditation
Learn from empowerment and initiation, not a book
Vows of behavior
Don't engage in sexual misconduct
Don't lie about anything to anyone, including yourself
Don't drink alcohol
Avoid dancing and singing
Do not use a high or expensive bed or throne
Do not eat after noon
Anatman- the idea that there is no self-there are 3 aspects
1. lack ofessence
3. interdependence on individuals and things
Anatta- "non-self" in Buddhism- in humans, there is no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul
Enlightenment-is an understanding of both the relative mode of existence (the way in which things appear to us) and the ultimate mode of existence (the true nature of these same appearances). This include sour own minds as well as the external world. Such knowledge is the basic antidote to ignorance and suffering.
The Middle Way- refers to the correct view of life that the Buddha teaches, and to the actions or attitudes that will create happiness for oneself and others- it is following the Eightfold Path and the Noble Truths
Beliefs- other important words to know
-Clemmons, Nancy. "Buddhism." Exploring the Religions of Our World. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria, 1999. N. pag. Print.
Prothero, Stephen R. God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World--and Why Their Differences Matter. New York: HarperOne, 2010. Print.
"Buddhist Scriptures and Texts." Buddhist Scriptures and Sacred Texts. DreamWeaver, n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. <http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/texts.htm>.
O'Brien, Barabara. "Everything You Need to Know About Buddhist Scriptures." About. About, n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2014. <http://buddhism.about.com/od/sacredbuddhisttexts/a/buddhist-scriptures.htm>.
What Are The Buddhist Scriptures?" Buddha Brainiac RSS. N.p., 11 Mar. 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2014. <http://www.buddhabrainiac.com/buddhist-scriptures/>.
"Introduction." Buddhism Beliefs. Pagetopia, 2008. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
Whitmore, Jessica. "The Branches of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana & Vajrayana." Education Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
Tendzin, Khenpo Tsultrim. "Medicine Buddha Sangha." The Three Levels of Vows. Tibetan Meditation Center, 26 Dec. 2007. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
Smith, Jonathan Z. "Religion and Bible." Journal of Biblical Literature 128.1 (2009): 5-27. ProQuest. Web. 21 Nov. 2014.
Chinese President Xi Jinping Accepts Role of Buddhism in Their Culture:
Dalai Lama | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis." DNA.
Agency PTI, 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Sept. 2014
Cochrane, Joe, and Thomas Fuller. "Buddhist-Muslim Tensions Spread as
8 Detainees Die in Indonesia." The New York Times. The New York Times,
5 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
Fuller, Thomas. "Charity Says Threats Foil Medical Aid in Myanmar." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 5 Nov. 2012. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
Fuller, Thomas. "Ethnic Hatred Tears Apart a Region of Myanmar." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 29 Nov. 2012. Web. 30 Sept. 2014.
Hume, Tim. "Dalai Lama to Myanmar, Sri Lanka Buddhists: Stop Violence
against Muslims." CNN. Cable News Network, 7 July 2014. Web. 30 Sept.
Inocencio, Ramy. "Buddhists Convicted of Muslim Massacre in
Myanmar." CNN. Cable News Network, 12 July 2013. Web. 30 Sept.
The Buddha gave women full freedom to participate in a religious life.
The Buddha was the first religious Teacher who gave this religious freedom to women.
Before the Buddha, women's duties had been restricted to the kitchen; women were not even allowed to enter any temple or to recite any religious scripture.
Women's position in society was very low.
The Buddha was criticized by the prevailing establishment when He gave this freedom to women. His move to allow women to enter the Holy Order was extremely radical for the times.
Buddha allowed women to prove themselves and to show that they too had the capacity like men to attain the highest position in the religious way of life by attaining Arahantahood.
Man is not always the only wise one; woman is also wise.
Womens Roles continued
According to Buddhism, it is not justifiable to regard women as inferior.
Women were categorized at same level as the Sudras, the lowest of the four castes.
In the Buddhist society the wife occupied an equal position with the husband.
Buddhism does not restrict either the educational opportunities of women or their religious freedom
In Buddhism, motherhood is seen as a highly revered and respected position.
Women can become monks. The monks are called bhikkhuni.
The bhikkhuni practice everything that the men do, but they do not live with them