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Buddhism Basics Attempts to give answers to life’s essential questions

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2 Buddhism Basics Attempts to give answers to life’s essential questions
Emphasis on “things to do” rather than “things to believe” Direct religious experience VS blind faith Tolerant of any religion that allows a person to find “truth” of himself / herself Different from Hinduism in that it was ‘founded’ ULTIMATE GOAL of a Buddhist  End suffering and attain absolute peace and joy Enlightenment - Freedom from ignorance - State of permanent tranquility and peace

3 Buddhism Hindu Roots Buddhism grew out of Hinduism
Siddhartha Gautama born to Kshatriya caste Believed to be incarnation of Vishnu Retained concepts: reincarnation, samsara, karma, dharma, moksha (nirvana) Rejected concepts: caste system (Brahmin caste power) - inequality Could reach Nirvana (Moksha) only if Brahmin language of Sanskrit was for educated (elite) only Used common language Pali to teach Hindu rituals and offerings to gods Insignificant religious activities that took away from quest for enlightenment

4 Buddhism founded approximately 2500 years ago in India

5 SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA Siddhartha Gautama born 563 BCE
Kshatriya caste in present day Nepal Came from royalty Kingdom of Gautama Father/Mother – King and Queen Destined to be a king also

Conception - descended from Heaven and entered mother’s (Queen Maya) womb in form of baby white elephant (purity) Queen Maya carried him for 10 months and could see him in the womb Gave birth from her side with assistance from tree branches Water poured from the sky At birth he took 7 steps and said “this is my last birth” Sages noted that he was a perfect human form

King wanted to shelter him from unpleasantness of life At 29, visited the city 4 times and saw 4 sights: Old man Sick man Dead man Ascetic monk Gave him a means to ending his despair

‘Great Going Forth’ Inspired to leave life of luxury and find a spiritual solution to human problems Sought spiritual knowledge through meditation, breathing, reducing food intake Realized self denial too extreme and unproductive Determined best course was the MIDDLE WAY (path between both extremes; a lifestyle of moderation)

Meditated under a Bodhi tree Remembered all of his previous lives Removed craving and ignorance for himself Achieved NIRVANA and was released from samsara Stayed in this state for 7 days Died in 486 BCE and achieved paranirvana (complete nirvana)

10 Buddha Budh = ‘to awaken’ Buddha = ‘Awakened’ or ‘enlightened’ one
awakened to nature of human condition and means of transcending it Not necessarily divine nor a prophet Considered a model teacher showed and taught his followers how to live their lives

11 Nirvana ‘blown out’ Extinguish all worldly desires
state of supreme realization and enlightenment understand truth of life and freedom from ignorance state of total liberation, truth, tranquility, peace


13 Nha Trang, Vietnam

14 Spring Temple Buddha Lushan, Henan, China


16 3 Characteristics of Existence
Key Beliefs 3 Characteristics of Existence Buddha’s thoughts on the nature of existence All things outside of Nirvana have three fundamental characteristics

17 Key Beliefs 1. Dukkha = Dissatisfaction “suffering”
all humans and animals experience suffering Physical, mental & emotional pain Disease, pain, grief, loneliness…

18 Key Beliefs 2. Anatta = Selflessness “no-self”
(An atman) no ultimate reality within No permanent, independent self We are only a collection of changing parts

19 Key Beliefs 3. Annica = Impermanence world in constant state of flux
Everything changes Environment, bodies, thoughts, perceptions, fears, hopes… Buddha would say ‘The flowing is the river…’

20 Where were ‘you’ 10 years ago?

21 FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS Evolved out of Buddha’s search for the cause and treatment of unhappiness in life.

22 FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS 1. To live is to suffer
All life consists of suffering birth, death, sorrow, loneliness 2. Origin of suffering The root is negative desire, craving & greed for the wrong pleasures Search for more than our basic needs 3. Extinction of suffering The goal is to end suffering by removing negative desire, craving & greed to achieve nirvana 4. Path leading to the extinction of suffering Adopting Middle Way and follow the Noble 8 Fold Path

23 1 2 8 7 3 Blueprint for a happier more fulfilling life. 6 4 5

24 The Noble Eightfold Path
Buddhist way of Life Means to an end of suffering Series of steps towards Nirvana Wisdom: 1. Right View (Understanding) – know the 4 Noble Truths 2. Right Intention (Thought) – Free mind from desire and craving and cruel thought - Nurture good thoughts

25 The Noble Eightfold Path
Moral conduct, Virtue 3. Right speech - no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language 4. Right conduct (Action) - by following the Five Precepts 5. Right livelihood - avoid harmful occupations and promote peace

26 The Noble Eightfold Path
Contemplation: 6. Right Effort: - Awareness of state of mind and body - promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts 7. Right Mindfulness: - become aware of your body, mind and feelings 8. Right Concentration: - Attainment of higher state of consciousness or tranquility through meditation

27 FIVE PRECEPTS Rules to live by and follow to control improper behaviour that may cause suffering Similar second half of the Ten Commandments in Judaism and Christianity describes behaviors to avoid Rules followed by Buddhist practitioners to control improper or non beneficial physical or verbal behaviour that may cause suffering

28 FIVE PRECEPTS Abstain from killing or harming living beings
- translated as "not harming" or an absence of violence Abstain from stealing - avoidance of fraud and economic exploitation. Abstain from improper sexual conduct - For monks and nuns, this means complete celibacy - For the laity, adultery is forbidden, along with any sexual harassment or exploitation, including that within marriage. Abstain from false speech - name calling, gossip, etc. Abstain from taking alcohol and harmful drugs - The main concern here is that intoxicants cloud the mind Rules followed by Buddhist practitioners to control improper or non beneficial physical or verbal behaviour that may cause suffering

29 More Numbers… Triple Jewel or Three Refuges Created by Buddha Purpose:
- make it easier to follow his teachings - protect oneself from a difficult existence - put one on correct path of spiritual journey Buddha (guide) Dharma (path) Sangha (teachers, monks & nuns) First steps toward Enlightenment


31 More Numbers… 3 4 5 8

32 More Numbers… Six Perfections Giving Morality Patience Vigour
Meditation Wisdom Practiced by Bodhisattvas Bodhisattva one who has attained nirvana, chooses to be reborn within samsara in order to help others on path of enlightenment

33 Zen Buddhism Cannot be taught, needs to be experienced
A form of Mahayana Buddhism comes from the Japanese word for “meditation” Focuses on the experience of enlightenment The tradition extends all the way back to Buddha India  China  Japan

34 Zen Buddhism THREE POUNDS
A monk asked Tozen when he was weighing some flax, "What is Buddha?" Tozen said, "This flax weighs three pounds.” WASH YOUR BOWL A monk told Joshu, "I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me." Joshu asked, "Have you eaten your rice porridge? The monk replied, "I have eaten." Joshu said, "Then you had better wash your bowl." At that moment the monk was enlightened.

35 Zen Teachings The direct experience of truth (our true nature)
Zen is beyond: the reach of thoughts & feelings words used to express thoughts & feelings logical thinking Zen is: hidden behind our thoughts, feelings, fears, personality & ego this clutters the mind preventing pure insight into the truth emphasizes experience over speculation offers a path to freedom from this ‘bondage’

36 Two schools of Zen 1 - Rinzai Sect – ‘Sudden awakening’ to
Satori – Enlightenment – how do Zen Buddhists propose we reach enlightenment? Through: Koans – tools in Zen training Puzzles designed to short circuit the workings of the logical, rational mind Help lead to direct insight into the true nature of the world and ultimate reality Helps one attain a healthy vigorous mind

37 Two schools of Zen 2 - Soto Sect – ‘Gradual awakening’ Through:
Zazen – ‘seated meditation’ - monks sit for hours in the lotus position clear the mind and gain insight Sanzen - Regularly meet to discuss teachings, training and meditate Roshi - Zen master who has control over the disciple

38 Zen life Monastic lifestyle – meditation, menial work, structured life, devotion to teacher Zen can be practiced outside of the monastery -not necessary to become a monk or nun

39 Schools of Buddhism Theravada (Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia)
Mahayana (China, Vietnam, Korea) Vajrayana (Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal) Zen Buddhism Theravada Southern school Conservative; focus on teachings of Buddha and view Buddha as a human Mahayana Northern school Liberal; considers Buddha as divine and pray to divinities and Bodhisattvas Vajrayana- more tantric bc of emphasis on rituals, mantras and visualization in creations. Dalai Lama Zen- meditation

40 Kundun Martin Scorcese Kundun
The Departed, Gangs of New York, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver… dark side of urban life Catholicism Kundun Early life of the Dalai Lama Symbolism, teachings and life Spiritual development and political development Tibetan actors

41 Symbols - Mandala Buddhapada- representations of Buddha’s footprints
Wheel of Life= complete visual repre of samsara Mandala- means circle- visual aid for concentration and device for meditation

42 Symbols - Mandala khiyl-khor -“centre of the universe in which a fully awakened being abides” - Tibetan meaning Sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’ Exercise in meditation and prayer Helps to focus attention Spiritual Geography Establishes a sacred space for spiritual teaching and training Represents the spiritual home of deities and enlightened beings All Tibetan Buddhist monks learn to construct them Buddhapada- representations of Buddha’s footprints Wheel of Life= complete visual repre of samsara Mandala- means circle- visual aid for concentration and device for meditation

43 Symbols - Mandala Buddhapada- representations of Buddha’s footprints
Wheel of Life= complete visual repre of samsara Mandala- means circle- visual aid for concentration and device for meditation

44 Symbols - Mandala Basic structure
Square in the centre with 4 gates enclosed by circles Symbolizes the limits of physical space Sand Comes from Himalayas Ground to five different degrees of fineness Coarser grains - background Finer grains - details Dyed naturally Buddhapada- representations of Buddha’s footprints Wheel of Life= complete visual repre of samsara Mandala- means circle- visual aid for concentration and device for meditation

45 Mandala Symbolism When completed;
chants and prayers are recited before it is swept away Placed in a stream or body of water Impermanence of the world Buddhapada- representations of Buddha’s footprints Wheel of Life= complete visual repre of samsara Mandala- means circle- visual aid for concentration and device for meditation

46 Sacred Writings Tripitaka (Three Baskets) ~ considered to be the most accurate of Buddha’s teachings which consist of: Vinaya-Pitaka: Basket of Discipline (monks) Sutta-Pitaka: Basket of Discourse Abidhamma-Pitiaka: Basket of Further Teachings

47 Practices Meditation- lotus posture Bowing (three times)
Offerings & Chanting Mantras: “Om Mani Padme Hum” which means “Hail, the jewel in the lotus” Karma Dana (donations) Mudras Monks Lotus Posture: crossed legs and hands, hands are on the lap, soles of feet rest on top of thighs, back straight, tongue touches back of the upper front teeth, eyes downcast and partially closed



50 The 14th Dalai Lama Quotes
‘My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.’ ‘If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.’ ‘Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.’ ‘ We must recognize that the suffering of one person or one nation is the suffering of humanity. The happiness of one person or nation is the happiness of humanity.’ ‘Through violence, you may ‘solve’ one problem, but you sow the seeds for another.’

51 The 14th Dalai Lama Born 1935 - Lhamo Thondup Renamed - Tenzin Gyatso
Taktser in northeastern Tibet Renamed - Tenzin Gyatso AKA - Teshe Norbu (Kundun) – “The Presence” Dalai Lama - “Ocean of Wisdom” ‘Discovered’ at age 2 Manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion Assumed political power at age 15

52 The 14th Dalai Lama Resides in Northern India
Once lead Tibetan Government in Exile but no longer - prime minister Lobsang Sangay Still the spiritual leader Established educational, cultural and religious institutions to preserve Tibetan identity and heritage Reputation as a scholar and man of peace Received Nobel Peace Prize in 1989

53 The 14th Dalai Lama Has been denounced by the Chinese
government as a supporter of Tibetan independence Has developed a public position stating that he is not in favour of Tibetan independence and would not object to a status in which Tibet has internal autonomy the PRC manages some aspects of Tibet's defense and foreign affairs. 'Middle Way Approach' the Chinese government can take care of foreign affairs and defense, and that Tibet should be managed by an elected body

54 Tibet today Part of China
Nearly 60 ethnic Tibetans, many monks and nuns, have set themselves on fire in China since February 2009 protest against Beijing's rule in Tibet most recent incidents occurring near Labrang monastery.

55 Film Assignment & Journal Entry
Write a brief essay taking a position on the following question. In your opinion, did the Dalai Lama make the right decision by leaving Tibet? What other options did he have? Journal The concept of Nirvana is difficult to understand and is often debated by Buddhists themselves as to who, what or where it is. Provide your own explanation of what Nirvana is to you and give two or three ideas that support your explanation.


57 Spread of Buddhism Is Buddha God? Is Nirvana God? / Place / Being
No, a state of being The total cessation of suffering

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