World Religions Week 3 - Buddhism


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What do Buddhist believe? How do they see the world? What are the important similarities to and differences from Christianity?

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  • Break into groups. Discuss!
  • We all see “through a mirror dimly”, as Paul says (1 Corinthians 13:12).People of other faiths will help us know God better, even as we help them know God better. Ultimately, if we’re all diligent to seek Truth, we will find Jesus.
  • Buddhism grew out of and is in many ways a reaction to Hinduism. Much of Buddhism is founded on the Hindu worldview.
  • Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama to Indian royalty (in modern day Nepal). His parents raised him in luxury and seclusion, but when he was nearly 30, he sneaked out of the palace.There he encountered the 4 Passing Sights: an Old man, a Sick man, a corpse and a renunciate (cf last week)Siddhartha went into the world with only his questionsAfter living in the lap of luxury, he tried extreme ascetism. He nearly died of starvation, but found himself no closer to enlightenment.He rejected both extremes and sat in the shade of a tree to meditate until he figured everything out. After a while (debates about how long), he found Awakening/Enlightenment (Bodhi). “Buddha” in Sanskrit means “Awakened One”.He spent the rest of his life traveling and teaching. He died at 80, allegedly from spoiled food.
  • Buddha taught that all reality is change. As such, Buddha rejected even the idea of Brahman.
  • This Mark is usually called “suffering”, but a better word is “dissatisfaction”. Because everything is always changing, even our greatest pleasures are tempered by the reality that they’ll soon be gone.
  • For a Buddhist, all is change. There is no Brahman, only Sat (suht – “truth” or “being”) – the ever-changing world that is unknowable so long as we are bound by desire to Samsara.Sat isn’t explicitly non-existence. In practice, it’s not overly different from Brahman.
  • In Hinduism, the Atman is a manifestation of Brahman that is reincarnated over and over. It is irreducible and unchanging.In Buddhism, the Self is anatman, an illusion. Because all aspects of our Selves are constantly changing, nothing about us is permenant.“Perceptions” are the mental constructs we make of reality. How we interpret our world. This would include things like causality and worldview.
  • At death, ourskanda break apart. Our karmic actions and consciousness are then reincarnated and the cycle begins again.Practically speaking, this isn’t different from Hinduism. When you start to split hairs, the difference is that Buddhists don’t identify an atman, an irreducible, unchanging ‘essence’ of a person.
  • Escape from Samsara and entrance into Sat. Nirvana is not non-existence.Again, practically speaking, this looks a lot like Hinduism’s moksha.
  • This Mark is usually called “suffering”, but a better word is “dissatisfaction”. Because everything is always changing, even our greatest pleasures are tempered by the reality that they’ll soon be gone.
  • Understanding – 4 Noble TruthsIntention – Not tainted by selfishnessSpeech – honest, kind, etc.Action – no harm ahimsaWork – no harmEffort – Constantly improving (within the bounds of moderation)Meditation – Contemplate the nature of realityContemplation – cultivate inner peace/detachment
  • Buddhism is technically “non-theistic”. It rejects Brahman because all is change. Buddha refused to answer many questions, including “Is there a god?”There is technically room for god-like beings in Buddhism, as we’ll see in a moment.
  • Three of the most important schools of Buddhism today.(Buddhism spread all over Asia. It became hugely influential in China and Japan.)
  • Nearly all Buddhists agree on these two key principles.
  • On #2… Gandhi loved Jesus!
  • Because there’s nowhere for it to go. This is change for the sake of change.Christians believe that a particular God has shaped
  • Hindus love to talk about God!We both take the presence of God in our lives very seriously!We both recognize that the material world can trip up our spirituality
  • We are most fully ourselves when we are fully in Christ.
  • World Religions Week 3 - Buddhism

    1. 1. World ReligionsThe Gospel and Friendship in a Pluralistic Suburb
    2. 2. What Do You Know? What three words best describe your 1. personal experience with God? Do you have any personal experience 2. with Buddhism? 3. What do you know about Buddhism? What questions do you have 4. about Buddhism?
    3. 3. Our “Mars Hill” Methodology • A basic introduction to the faith’s worldview 1. • Areas of agreement between that faith and 2. Orthodox Christian theology and practice • Areas of disagreement between that faith 3. and Orthodox Christian theology and practiceGOAL: To equip you to build a truth-seekingrelationship with someone of another faith.
    4. 4. BuddhismFollowing the Middle Path
    5. 5. Who was the Buddha?Hinduism Buddhism
    6. 6. Review: the Hindu Worldview Samsara Maya Atman Brahman Re- incarnation Karma
    7. 7. The Life of Siddhartha Gautama Enlightenment “Bodhi” The Middle Way Great Going Forth “4 Passing Sights”Born to IndianRoyalty, raisedin luxury(563 BC)
    8. 8. Buddhism: Three Marks of Reality Maya Re-incarnation Brahman Samsara 1) All is Change Karma Atman
    9. 9. Buddhism: Three Marks of Reality 1) All is Change AtmanSamsara Karma Brahman 2) Anatman: No Self Re- Maya incarnation
    10. 10. Buddhism: Three Marks of Reality 1) All is Change 2) Anatman 3) Suffering/ Dissatisfaction
    11. 11. The Buddhist Worldview: Sat Samsara SamsaraMaya Atman Brahman Sat Re- Re- incarnation Karma incarnation Karma Hinduism Buddhism
    12. 12. The Buddhist Self: 5 Skanda/Aggregates Samsara 5 Karma SensesMaya Atman Brahman Conscious Body -ness Re- incarnation Karma Perceptions Hinduism Buddhism
    13. 13. Reincarnation in Buddhism 5 Karma 5 Karma Senses Senses Conscious ConsciousBody -ness Body -ness Perceptions Perceptions
    14. 14. Smells Like Nirvana Samsara Nirvana Sat Re-incarnation Karma
    15. 15. Buddha’s Four Noble Truths The 8-Fold Path releases us from suffering. End suffering by ending desire. Suffering is caused by desire.To live is to suffer.
    16. 16. The Eight-Fold Path to Enlightenment Under- standing Contem- Intention plation Medi- Speech tation Effort Action Work
    17. 17. Is Buddhism Atheistic?
    18. 18. Buddhism Today Theravada Mahayana Zen• Built around • “The Great • A school of Monastic Vehicle” Mahayana communities • Most popular • Named for the• Probably most • Bodhisattvas 7th step like Buddha’s and gods • Highlights teachings • Many schools meditation
    19. 19. Buddhism Today Mahayana Theravada Zen 1. Ahimsa 2. Education
    20. 20. Building Bridges to Buddhism We both have a founder. The Problem of Evil The Danger of Desire Spiritual Practices are Good
    21. 21. Buddhists and Christians Both Value Education Spiritual practices Peacemaking as a spiritual practice Taking care of the natural world
    22. 22. Where Buddhism and Christianity Disagree Just In repeats Buddhism Some- Christians Believe The World Is Going whereEvery- Lifething Is Cyclical
    23. 23. Where Buddhism and Christianity Disagree Sat • “gods” are part of (false) reality • gods’ essence is identical to reality • gods are also trying to escape Yahweh • God is the creator • God is distinct from creation • God is rescuing and redeeming creation
    24. 24. Where Buddhism and Christianity Disagree Desire is Bad • Creation is fundamentally impermanent • Desire causes suffering. • Desire must be eliminated. Desire can be Bad. • Created things are gifts from God. • Our desires should point us back to God • Misaligned desires cause idolatry.
    25. 25. Where Buddhism and Christianity Disagree Nirvana • The goal of Buddhism is the end of Self • Self is an illusion • Reincarnation Christlikeness • The goal of Christianity is sanctification • Self is redeemed and fulfilled • One Self, One (eternal) Life
    26. 26. Got Questions? • • @jrforasteros • Submit Questions