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Buddhist Spirituality James A. Van Slyke. Buddhism 4 th Largest Religion in the World 350 million practice the religion Regional forms of Buddhism Theravada.

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Presentation on theme: "Buddhist Spirituality James A. Van Slyke. Buddhism 4 th Largest Religion in the World 350 million practice the religion Regional forms of Buddhism Theravada."— Presentation transcript:

1 Buddhist Spirituality James A. Van Slyke

2 Buddhism 4 th Largest Religion in the World 350 million practice the religion Regional forms of Buddhism Theravada Thailand; Burma; Cambodia Mahayana (East Asian) China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam Tibetan Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal

3 History of Buddhism Founder of Buddhism ( BC) Grew up as a prince with a life of privilege Later saw that life was really about suffering and pain Left his family and possessions to search for enlightenment Looked to philosophy and an ascetic lifestyle Siddhartha Gautama

4 History of Buddhism Experience of Enlightenment (Buddha) Realized that ascetic lifestyle was not the answer Sought enlightenment through mediation Desire or Craving (Tanha) leads to suffering – Must release our attachment to desire – Must follow the middle way between extreme indulgence and extreme asceticism Siddhartha Gautama

5 History of Buddhism Began in India during the 6 th century BCE Outgrowth of the Hindu religion Some forms of Buddhism are non- theistic; other elements still include spiritual beings Foundation of Buddhism; Three Jewels – Buddha – Dharma (Teachings) – Sangha (Community)

6 Dharma: The Four Noble Truths Truth #1 Life is Difficult – Our lives are flawed and imperfect – Not pessimistic, but honest; realistic view of life Truth #2 Cravings make life difficult – Our cravings can never be fully satisfied – Control cravings rather than let cravings control you

7 Dharma: The Four Noble Truths Truth #3 Detachment from Craving (Nirvana) – Inner Peace; internal freedom – Transformation of Desire Truth #4 Eight-fold Path to Enlightenment – How to purify one’s heart and mind – Following the Dharma day by day

8 Eight-Fold Path: Wisdom Training Right View Challenging our distortions of reality Every moment is a chance for transformation Right Intentions Purify thoughts and attitudes Develop compassion towards others

9 Eight-fold path: Ethics Training Right Speech – Speak gently and clearly – Words have power; use them wisely Right Action – Karma – what we do to others comes back to us – Compassion to others brings compassion to us Right Livelihood – Avoid vocations that harm others – Our work should be an extension of our dharma

10 Eight-fold path: Meditation Training Right Effort – Sincere Spiritual Effort – Directing our energies toward enlightenment Right Mindfulness – Conscious presence in the here and now – Cultivating awareness to action and thought Right Concentration – Unification of spiritual intentionality – Integrating spiritual disciplines and focusing attention


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