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East Asian Religions

Brief overviews of each religion's belief system & discussion activities
by

Jerry Lubos

on 14 April 2016

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Transcript of East Asian Religions

Confucianism
Buddhism
Taoism (Daoism)
Mr. Lubos
Belief system based on the teachings of Kong Fu Zi (
Confucius
), considered to be China's first great philosopher
Name means "Master King" where it was foretold he would be "a king without a crown"
He lived from 551 – 479 B.C.E.
He lived during troubled times and he created a set of rules for behaving based on strict moral ideas
GOAL: to restore social stability & order and to teach a way of life based on rules of good behavior
Confucius believed that people should practice proper behavior, or
li
(LEE)
- This includes respect, loyalty, honesty, hard work, politeness, & generosity
Chinese society valued family, so he emphasized
filial piety
– devotion (respect) for one’s elders
Follow
li
in your relationships and society will be peaceful & stable. Everyone will naturally do what is best for their community
Also believed that a stable, peaceful society is built on 5 key relationships:

1. ruler & subject
2. parent & child
3. husband & wife
4. elder sibling & younger sibling
5. friend & friend

Each pair has responsibilities and duties toward one another
This is called
ren
– mutual relationships
Based on the teachings of Lao Zi
He lived from 606 – 530 B.C.E.
He also lived during troubled times, and believed that people should seek happiness and peace within themselves, not seek power & wealth.
Later in his life, tired of corruption, he fled to Tibet but was not allowed to leave until he left behind a record of his teachings. He produced the
Tao Te Ching
– “The Way and Its Power” and rode away on a water buffalo never to be seen again
GOAL: to be in harmony with the natural world and to connect or become one with the
Tao
(the Way) in order to find peace & happiness
Taoism teaches you to balance the opposite forces of nature – the yin and the yang
Balance means that good cannot exist without the bad, pleasure without pain, beauty without ugliness, and so on
They are all connected and Taoists accept both.
Lao Zi was against the government but believed leaders should follow the rules of
wuwei
– “acting by not acting” = leading by example
Belief system based on the teachings of
Siddhartha Gautama
He was a prince who lived in India from 563 – 483 B.C.E. during the time when most people practiced Brahmanism (
early form of Hinduism
)
He wanted to learn what causes suffering and how to escape it. It was not until he
meditated
(
to think deeply
) that he saw the truth about life.
Known as
Buddha
or the “Enlightened One”
Buddha also believed that after one dies, one is reborn in another body (
reincarnation
), over and over in a cycle until one reaches enlightenment through
nirvana
(
a state where there is no desire or sense of self and is released from the cycle of death and rebirth
).
To end suffering and reach enlightenment, you have to follow the
Middle Way
- balancing both hardship and luxury
Buddhism eventually became a religion and spread to central and east Asia from travelers and Buddhist
missionaries
Buddha told his followers that their lives were part of a repeating cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Buddhism is based on four main ideas, called the
Four Noble Truths
:

1. Life is suffering.

2. The cause of suffering is people’s self-centered desires and wanting things you do not have & not wanting what you do have.

3. To escape suffering, get rid of desires (not being self-centered) to become free or reach
enlightenment
(heightened state of awareness).

4. Follow the
Middle Path
, a life that is neither too rich nor too poor. It has three parts: moral discipline, mental discipline, & wisdom.
Discussion:
With your group, take turns discussing one specific guideline or belief that you follow everyday. How is it important to you and why? How does it affect your relationships with people your age? Adults?

Try & create your own "golden rule".

Discussion
: Discuss with your group how important discipline is in being a Buddhist believer. With the Middle Path in mind, what are some ways you train or test yourself morally and mentally each day?

Then ask yourself - do you belief suffering to be an experience important for you to grow as a person? Why or why not?
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
“If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”
“Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
“The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute, the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”
"Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without."
"Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world."
"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."
"Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship."
"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."
"It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways."
"He who knows he has enough is rich."
"If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence."
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still."
"To lead people walk behind them."
"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage."
Discussion: Do you agree or disagree in the beliefs of Taoism? Why or why not? Give an example of how a Taoist principle could help or harm you. Share your thoughts with your group.


Keep the balance of yin & yang in mind while you write & discuss.
- Example: not bragging when good things happen and not complaining when bad things happen
LTs
:
I can describe who Confucius was and what he stood for
I can describe key elements of Confucianism such as ren, li, and filial piety
I can list and give examples of ren (the 5 types of relationships)
LTs:
I can describe who Lao Tzu was and what he stood for
I can describe key elements of Taoism such as the Tao and wuwei
I can give relevant and cultural examples of yin and yang

LTs:
I can describe the childhood and life of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)
I can define and describe karma, reincarnation, meditation, and enlightenment
I can explain key elements of Buddhism such as the Middle Path and the Four Noble Truths

East Asian Religions
Confucian Temple
Taipei, Taiwan
Ancestor Tablets
Guardian Figure
The
Tao
teaches that people should see themselves as part of nature
Nothing in nature strives for fame, power, or knowledge – there is no effort required. They just follow the Tao – the way of nature that guides all things.
Taoists see water as a perfect example - it is soft & yielding, flows effortlessly to many places, and nourishes all life.
In a way, Taoists accept everything that happens
“Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.”
The 8 Immortals
legendary beings who attained immortality
all lived on earth at various times
each represents a different condition in life
八仙
Xi Wangmu
Giver of the peaches of immortality
Nam Yong Keng Temple
Klang Selangor, Malaysia
Thanksgiving ritual
bless the living
salvage spirits from suffering
Doi Suthep-Doi
Thailand
Koudanath Pagoda
Nepal
Tergar Monastery
India
Full transcript