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Published in: Spiritual, Education


  1. 1. Buddhism An introductory exploration
  2. 2. Orange: The Buddha's teachings - wisdom White: The purity of Dharma - leading to liberation, outside of time or space Red: The blessings of practice - achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity Yellow: The Middle Path - avoiding extremes, emptiness Blue: Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
  3. 3. Simple Facts of Buddhism <ul><li>Flag of Buddhism </li></ul><ul><li>World population: ~350 million </li></ul><ul><li>believers worldwide </li></ul><ul><li>Theraveda Buddhist Scriptures: Pali Canon (Tipitaka) </li></ul><ul><li>Geographical divisions of Buddhism share original teachings of Buddha, but have developed into three distinctions within Buddhism: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Theraveda Buddhism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>oldest surviving </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mahayana Buddhism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>dominant Buddhist school, ~150 million </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>East Asian Buddhism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tibetian Buddhism </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Outline of Buddhism <ul><li>Pali Canon (Tipitaka): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vinaya Pitaka: dealing with rules for monks and nuns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sutta Pitaka: discourses, mostly ascribed to the Buddha, but some to disciples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abhidhamma Pitaka: variously described as philosophy, psychology, metaphysics. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pali Canon is the scripture collection of the Theraveda Buddhist tradition. </li></ul><ul><li>Pali is the language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pitaka means basket </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tipitaka means three basket </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Outline of Buddhism <ul><li>Bodhi – to attain enlightenment or awakening, release from suffering by following the teachings of Buddha. </li></ul><ul><li>The Middle Way - The primary guiding principle of Buddhism. Discovered by the Buddha prior to his enlightenment (bodhi). </li></ul>
  6. 6. Outline of Buddhism <ul><li>Refuge in the Three Jewels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>three things that Buddhists give themselves to, and in return look toward for guidance, in the process known as taking refuge. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buddha – example of Buddha </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Or more loosely, the wisdom that understands Dharma, and in this regard the Buddha represents the perfect wisdom that sees reality in its true form </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dharma – teachings/laws as expounded by Buddha </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sangha – community of those who will help others attain bodhi (enlightenment). </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Outline of Buddhism <ul><li>Four Noble Truths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is suffering ( dakkha ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a cause of suffering — ( tanha – </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>selfish craving/desire ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is the cessation of suffering (hope, belief) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a way leading to the cessation of suffering — the Noble Eightfold Path </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Outline of Buddhism <ul><li>Noble Eightfold Path </li></ul><ul><ul><li>path to an end of suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divided into three parts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Śīla – morality, which concerns wholesome physical actions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Samadhi – developing mastery over one’s mind, meditation and concentration of the mind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prajñā - concerns spiritual insight into the true nature of all things, which is wisdom that purifies the mind </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Life of Gautama <ul><li>Born: ~ 563 BC in Lumbini, northern India </li></ul><ul><li>Born to a king </li></ul><ul><li>Born with special markings (32 signs of a Great Man) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mother (Queen Maya) dreamt of a white elephant entering her side and she became pregnant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The White Elephant was the Buddha-to-be, resided as an ‘enlightened existence’ in one of the six deva-heavens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soothsayer: Gautama will be either a great king or a great holy man </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Father – wanted Gautama to become a great king </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protected Gautama from the ugliness, suffering of the world by keeping him in the castle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enticed and tempted Gautama with pleasurable things of the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As Gautama got older he begged to go out of the castle to see the world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Father swept the outside world of all ugliness in order to protect his son from seeing suffering </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Four Sights <ul><li>Age 29, Gautama goes on four trips out of the castle and sees four sights that change his worldview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Old man – suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sick man – disease </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dead man – death </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ascetic man – quest for Truth, release from suffering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deeply depressed Gautama escapes the castle in the night to seek deeper meaning of life. </li></ul><ul><li>THE GREAT GOING FORTH </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His spiritual quest begins, exchanges rich clothes for simple clothes and becomes a mendicant ascetic. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Wandering Ascetic <ul><li>Asceticism believed to be a powerful practice to overcome weakness of body. </li></ul><ul><li>Asceticism seeks moksha by overcoming the weakness of the body. </li></ul><ul><li>Pleasure is bad </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Extreme fasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holding one’s breath </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure to bodily pain </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gautama nearly starves himself to death without getting any closer to enlightenment </li></ul>
  13. 13. Middle Way <ul><li>Gautama realized, after nearly dying, that asceticism is actually counter productive. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-hating practices that brought little spiritual benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One becomes stuck on self while the goal is to transcend one’s self. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Middle Way is a way of proceeding that exercises moderation between self-indulgence and self-mortification </li></ul>
  14. 14. Fig Tree <ul><li>Revived from near-death by young girl, dedicates himself to meditation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mindfulness of breathing to purify oneself of defilements and as a way to nirvana </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lotus position under fig tree, vows not to leave until he found “complete and perfect fulfillment” (Brodd, 72). </li></ul>
  15. 15. Battle with Mara <ul><li>Mara </li></ul><ul><ul><li>psychological darkness within each of us to make our own worst fears real </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Literal belief that Mara was a demon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 Lusty Daughters of Mara </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delight </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Desire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Discontent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Was neither attracted nor disgusted by these three things </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They remained powerless over Gautama </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Defeated Mara, Gautama enters deeply into an inward spiritual journey </li></ul>
  16. 16. Three Watches under the Fig Tree <ul><li>First Watch – “Gautama perceived his own previous lifetimes…[his] continuous journey of suffering” (Brodd, 73) . </li></ul><ul><li>Second Watch – “acquired the divine eye, the ability to perceive the deaths/rebirths of all living things” (Brodd, 73) . </li></ul><ul><li>Third Watch – Discovers Four Noble Truths </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With this Gautama attained enlightenment – reached spiritual perfection and had thus won his salvation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Became the Awakened or Enlightened One </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Deferred Nirvana <ul><li>Nirvana </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State of non-physical eternal bliss that is ultimate salvation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Buddha resists the temptation to pass into Nirvana </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His compassion compels him to stay to teach others the lessons of his spiritual journey </li></ul></ul>