Intro into Buddhism?
I was wondering if there were any Buddhists on here willing to give me some insight into Buddhism. I was also hoping to get a good description on proper meditation. Ive always considered myself atheist but I think my actual beliefs line up with Buddhism. Thank you in advance!
- SatiLv 621 hours ago
All of Buddhism revolves around the Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path. They are as follows:
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
Suffering exists and is unavoidable
The cause of suffering is craving
The end of suffering is the extinguishment of all craving
The way leading to the end of suffering is The Eightfold Path
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH (aka. The Three Trainings)
- Right View: understanding skillful behavior in terms of cause and effect and the Four Noble Truths and how they fit into the overall scheme of the Buddha's teachings
- Right Intention: generosity, letting go, loving-kindness, and compassion
- Right Speech: telling the truth and avoiding malicious talk, harsh language, and gossip
- Right Action: the principles for leading an ethical life; abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, and intoxication
- Right Livelihood: choosing an appropriate profession that is important to spiritual practice
- Right Effort: preventing negative states of mind, overcoming negative states of mind, cultivating positive states of mind, and maintaining positive states of mind
- Right Mindfulness: the practice of mindfulness meditation; cultivating mindfulness of body, feelings, mind, and thoughts
- Right Concentration: the stages of deep absorption reached in meditation
Okay. That is the basic "theory" of Buddhism. It all revolves around developing wisdom around the fact of suffering. The practice is essentially asking yourself every day - "How do I free myself, and all others, of this suffering?" This is the same question the Buddha himself asked that began this whole thing we call Buddhism. When the Buddha spoke of suffering, he said:
"Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, & despair are dukkha; association with the unbeloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not getting what is wanted is dukkha. In short, the five clinging-aggregates [of body, feeling, perception, thought, & consciousness] are dukkha."
Suffering is the common translation of the Pali term "dukkha". Dukkha can also be translated as dissatisfaction, discontent, or dis-ease. The practice of Buddhism is this study of dukkha and the release from dukkha.
As already noted, the Eightfold Path is a threefold training in wisdom, morality, and meditation. Wisdom is coming to see and know dukkha as it really is. Purifying morality and practicing daily meditation are the keys to gaining this wisdom. Regarding morality, the Buddha gave five specific guidelines he believed to be in our best interest. They are as follows:
1. Refraining from taking the life of any living creature.
2. Refraining from taking that which is not given.
3. Refraining from sexual misconduct.
4. Refraining from false and harmful speech.
5. Refraining from consuming intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
These are known as the Five Precepts. As you cultivate and purify morality and meditation, your wisdom becomes stronger. As your wisdom becomes stronger, your morality and meditation become more pure. It's cyclical, not linear.
Train yourself in skillful thoughts, speech, and actions. Train yourself to make peace, be kind, and be gentle in each and every moment. Train to not only work with the neurotic mind, but also on fully opening a heart of unconditional love and compassion. This is the practice of Buddhism.
The best way to learn about Buddhism is to associate and learn from those who practice Buddhism. Visit local temples, monasteries, and/or groups in your area. The following link may help you find one nearby: http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/
Here are some other links that may be beneficial:
Basic Buddhism Guide:
Video: The Eightfold Path
Audio: Four Noble Truths & Eightfold Path
eBook: The Noble Eightfold Path
The Five Mindfulness Trainings
Meditation Description & Links
Hope this helps. May you find much happiness, peace, and joy along your spiritual journey :)
- Anonymous2 months ago
Too bad there's no way to search for things on the internet. Wouldn't it be great if you could just put a word or phrase like "Buddhism" into a form on a web page and press a ‘search’ button? Maybe someday
- Anonymous2 months ago
JUST as with any journey, it is GOOd to prepare for where you are Going. LEt your conscIence Take you DOwn the Road you need. Karma will take care of the rest.