Kellen Kautzman

Buddhism

Buddhism Beliefs

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What did Buddha believe?

What did Buddha believe?

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Four Noble Truths

 

1. Life is suffering.

2. The beginning of suffering is attachment.

3. The end of suffering is possible.

4. The path to the end of suffering.

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1. Life is suffering.

Watching people we love pass away, experiencing pain, and hoping for more are all human conditions. Life truly is filled with suffering. Every person must overcome insurmountable obstacles  to achieve happiness. The Buddha describes happiness as achievable through understanding and living by  the four noble truths and the eightfold path.

2. The beginning of suffering is attachment.

Desire, wanting, and needing are all forms of attachment. The clinging to relationships, habits, and addictions can cause us incredible suffering. Letting go, forgiveness, and moving on are all Buddhist qualities of releasing attachment. The start of suffering is the clinging for something that is not there.

Attachment is broken down into three kinds:

(kama tanha)Buddhist Nirvana - Buddha Mandala sense pleasure

(bhava tanha) wanting to be something or someone else

(vibhava tanha) wanting to get rid of something or someone

Wanting to feel good when we don’t, be someone we aren’t. and get rid of something we hate are all attachments we carry. Letting these unnecessary attachments go is part of our path towards enlightenment. Buddha said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” Letting go of the past and future helps you avoid attachment and recognize your current blessings.

The blessings that you are experiencing in this moment need your attention to flourish. By directing your thoughts towards your blessings, you help tend the garden of your mind with plants that will bear fruit.

(Image The garden of your mind)

3. The end of suffering is attainable.

The Buddhist's Garden of Belief

The Buddhist's Garden of Belie

The Buddha believed that the end of suffering is possible and you can realize it. The path to achieve happiness, tranquility, love, joy, and consistent peace and harmony is laid out in the eightfold path.

Nirvana, the state of total and complete happiness, is attained through the self-reflective mind. The Buddha said, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” You have to monitor your mind and take care of it throughout your entire life. It is your most precious space. What you allow into your mind becomes your life, experience, and fate. Therefor you must be aware of the thoughts that enter into your mind, if you want to think as the Buddha did. Only by seeing the thoughts as they come to you, will you be able to control them, choose the ones you want, and let the destructive ones go.

4. The path to the end of suffering.

The eightfold path is designed to free you from suffering. The eight sections describe the right foundation your mind needs to be able to achieve Nirvana. This is done through right thought, which eventually becomes right action through time and consistency. This process of learning one’s mind and mastering life is said to be practiced over many lifetimes. Nirvana, one of the most fundamental Buddhism beliefs, is achieved gradually.

The Eightfold Path

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Right view

Two people driving on the interstate pass through a small town. The first person is very hungry. The second person is very tired. After the exit the town, the first person says, “There were a lot of restaurants in that town!” The second responds, “No, there were a lot of hotels!”
What we see is based on what we feel.

Right Intention

Tenzin Gyatzo - Dalai Lama

Tenzin Gyatzo - Dalai Lama

Before going to be the enlightened soul counts his/her blessings, holding on to those thoughts as if they were a millions dollars worth of diamonds. The enlightened one attracts these thoughts and has been thinking them for years. A pleasant thought sits easily in the mind of a wise and patient soul.

Right Speech

The beliefs of the enlightened one become words naturally when the right time comes. Without a need to speak, a patient person opens their mouth to share a wonderful thought, to be compassionate, and to express their love for someone else.

Right Action

In Buddhism, beliefs are essential towards creating action. Only through thinking well throughout our whole lives can we begin to constantly make the right decisions with our lives and livelihood.

Right Livelihood

Our professions have to be humble, hard-working, and honest like we are for us to sleep well at night, feel good about ourselves, and serve others.

Right Effort

It seems easier to wait until tomorrow, to procrastinate. This is, however, not the path to happiness. Joy and calm come when all of the work is over and we can breathe easily knowing that we can now relax. By pushing hard, and pushing consistent in all of our endeavors, we can achieve peace in over lives both physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Right Mindfulness

As the mind wonders, we must remember to think well of others and ourselves. The mind is like a puppy. It runs around, pees on the furniture, eats up the couch, and then wonders why you are upset. As the master of your mind, you must train it to do what you want it to. If you leave it alone, it will simply run on auto-pilot and you will be wondering why you ended up in such a chaotic place. Praise yourself for thinking well. Continue to think well for as long as you can and you will, without a doubt, reap the benefits.

Right Concentration

No matter where you are, who you are with, or why you are there you need to be able to concentrate on doing the right thing. Fear is the enemy, and relaxation the solution. To concentrate you simply have to relax your body and focus on your thoughts, gently curving them towards good.

 

Buddhism beliefs - The Buddha was from India.

The Buddha was from India.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddhism and Impermanence

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Buddhism is based on the reality that nothing in permanent. Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. Looking for Buddhism facts is comical because those facts aren’t permanent. The transient nature of reality is part of releasing attachment, a key element towards achieving nirvana. Buddha would laugh if he heard people talking about Buddhism facts.

The key to peoples’ happiness has been to watch their thoughts turn unto actions. If one can be attentive enough to the mind, and treat it with the respect it deserves then one can bring about a reality that is worthy of that person and those who surround her/him. The point, as was so well illustrated by the Buddha himself, is to begin by having right beliefs. These beliefs should be as close to a fact as is humanly possible.

In times of great stress it is our beliefs that dictate our actions. By believing well, we can achieve happiness throughout our entire lives. We must, however, nurture the transition from belief to speech. As a thought grows, it becomes more and more likely to become a word. We are the caretakers of thoughts until they finally become an action, which reverberates in the actions and thoughts of others.

The Dharma Wheel

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The Dharmachakra, better known as the Dharma wheel, is used as a symbol to represent the Buddha and his teachings. This eight-spoked wheel represents The Eightfold Path, as well as truth and teaching.

“The word ‘Dharmachakra’ in Sanskrit means ‘Truth Wheel’.(1) In the center of the Dharma wheel are “3 swirling segments in the center that represent the Buddha, Dharma (the teachings) and Sangha (the spiritual community”. “(1) The interconnectivity of the Buddha, his teachings, and the spirtual communitry have lasted for thousands of years.

Buddha Receives The Dharma Wheel

Dharma Wheel

The Dharma wheel was often used to explain Buddhist beliefs. It is a teaching tool.

The Buddha found enlightenment sitting under the Bodhi tree. His “Dharma” is his teaching, which he spread throughout the area to those near him. His dharma consisted of many teachings including the four noble truths and the eightfold path. The eightfold path is clearly represented in the eight spokes of the dharma wheel:  right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

The Dharma Wheel – A Simple and Powerful Teaching Tool

Imagine the world without modern technology. The wheel was one of the most important objects, helping mankind move supplies and feed themselves better. The wheel could also be easily drawn on the ground with a stick. The sun and moon were circular and were worshiped as being very close to God and creation. The wheel was the perfect teaching tool because every person could understand it. Buddha was no fool. He knew that people need to see something to help them learn it. By creating the dharma wheel, he simplified his teachings into a symbol, each spoke of the wheel representing something that we should be.

The dharma wheel has changed and spread through out the world. This illustration on the left is a modern, more elaborate version of the dharma wheel. The wheel is so well known because of its simplicity and effectiveness and explaining the core concepts of Buddhism, which are to act and think well.

The Cross, Medicine Wheel, and the Dharma Wheel

Native Symbols - The Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel and the Dharma Wheel have a lot in common.

Christian Symbols - Cross

The cross serves as a teaching tool, much like the Dharma Wheel and Medicine Wheel.

Every religion has symbols that are used to help explain their ideas. The cross is clearly the most commonly used symbol in Christianity and is used as the ultimate reminder that people make sacrifices for their friends. The cross reminds Christians that people are capable of giving up their lives for their loved ones.

The medicine wheel, used in many Native American traditions is very similar to the dharma wheel because it explains the entire cosmos within a wheel, indicated the four directions, seasons, personalities, colors, etc.

By noticing the similarities between the symbols across religions, we can clearly see that we are all one family attempting to understand, and get along with, one another.

Siddhartha Gautama and Buddhism Facts

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Buddhist Nirvana - Buddha Statue

  • Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, taught in India.
  • Buddhism was founded in Northeastern Indian subcontinent by Siddhartha Gautama who attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
  • There are at least 360 million followers of Buddhism, probably more. China is the country with the most Buddhists.
  • Tibet, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, and Taiwan are also home to followers of Buddhism.
  • Nirvana, a common term within Buddhism, is the end of suffering for some and known as paradise by others.
  • Nirvana is freedom from cravings and anger.

Image References

Buddhism – Dalai Lama – Tenzin Gyatzo

Buddhism – Statue

Buddhism – fact - India was the birthplace of the Buddha.

Bhudda’s Shadow

Dharma wheel

Four noble truths – Buddhism

Symbols like the Dharma Wheel – Cross

Medicine Wheel

Web References

http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble.htm

http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001470.html

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Buddhism

http://www.westernbuddhistreview.com/vol2/buddhism_without_beliefs.html

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/religion/buddhism/

http://www.patheos.com/Library/Buddhism/Beliefs.html