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World Religions: Buddhism : From the Sanskrit word “ Buddhi ”, to awaken.

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Presentation on theme: "World Religions: Buddhism : From the Sanskrit word “ Buddhi ”, to awaken."— Presentation transcript:

1 World Religions: Buddhism : From the Sanskrit word “ Buddhi ”, to awaken.

2 Prepared by Keith Haines Prepared by Keith Haines February 19, 2008 February 19, 2008

3 Buddhism… The “middle way of wisdom and compassion” A 2500 –year-old tradition that began in India & spread and diversified throughout the Far East A 2500 –year-old tradition that began in India & spread and diversified throughout the Far East A philosophy, religion, and spiritual practice followed by more than 300 million people A philosophy, religion, and spiritual practice followed by more than 300 million people Based on the teachings of the Buddha Based on the teachings of the Buddha

4 The “Three Jewels” of Buddhism Buddha – the teacher Dharma – the teachings Sangha – the community

5 Who was the Buddha? Born Siddhartha Gautama – of noble caste in India, 563 B.C.E. Born Siddhartha Gautama – of noble caste in India, 563 B.C.E. Raised in great luxury to be a king Raised in great luxury to be a king Empathy for the suffering of others; at age 29 rejected the life of luxury to seek enlightenment and the solution to suffering Empathy for the suffering of others; at age 29 rejected the life of luxury to seek enlightenment and the solution to suffering Followed a strict ascetic lifestyle for six years Followed a strict ascetic lifestyle for six years Achieved Nirvana – an awakening to the truth about life, becoming a Buddha, the “Awakened One” at the age of 35 Achieved Nirvana – an awakening to the truth about life, becoming a Buddha, the “Awakened One” at the age of 35 Spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching others how to achieve the peace of mind he had achieved Spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching others how to achieve the peace of mind he had achieved

6 Buddha’s Meditation “Mara (Lord of Illusion who symbolizes the delusions of one's own mind) tried tirelessly to distract Siddhartha during his meditation - first by sending his daughters - "Blissful to Behold,” "Pleasurable to Others,”, and "Lust." They came, revealed their bodies and assumed various poses. But the mind of Siddhartha did not move for even a moment.” “Mara (Lord of Illusion who symbolizes the delusions of one's own mind) tried tirelessly to distract Siddhartha during his meditation - first by sending his daughters - "Blissful to Behold,” "Pleasurable to Others,”, and "Lust." They came, revealed their bodies and assumed various poses. But the mind of Siddhartha did not move for even a moment.” “When Mara’s army of demons attacked Siddhartha, their stones and arrows turned into flowers through the power of compassion.” “When Mara’s army of demons attacked Siddhartha, their stones and arrows turned into flowers through the power of compassion.”

7 Enlightenment “Siddhartha then touched the earth, thereby calling it to witness the countless lifetimes of virtue that had led him to this place of enlightenment, he entered into a state of deep meditation. Three days and nights passed.”

8 Enlightenment “On the final night, Siddhartha developed the mental power to recollect his past lives, the power to see the past lives of others, and understood the law of karma. Buddha realized that suffering is caused by desire and ignorance. Therefore, when these are removed, suffering does not arise. After this realization, he became enlightened – free from desire and ignorance and Siddhartha achieved Nirvana becoming the Buddha, meaning the ‘Enlightened One.’”

9 What did the Buddha teach? The Four Noble Truths: To live is to suffer. To live is to suffer. The cause of suffering is self-centered desire & attachments. The cause of suffering is self-centered desire & attachments. The solution is to eliminate desire and attachment, thus achieving Nirvana (“extinction”). The solution is to eliminate desire and attachment, thus achieving Nirvana (“extinction”). The way to Nirvana is through the “Eight-Fold Path.” The way to Nirvana is through the “Eight-Fold Path.”

10 What is the Eight-Fold Path? Wisdom: Right understanding Right motivation Moral discipline: Right speech Right action Right livelihood Mental discipline: Right effort Right mindfulness Right meditation

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12 What do Buddhists believe? Rebirth (reincarnation) results from attachments (karma). Rebirth (reincarnation) results from attachments (karma). Nirvana is a peaceful, detached state of mind. Nirvana is a peaceful, detached state of mind. Achieving Nirvana means escape from the cycle of rebirth. Achieving Nirvana means escape from the cycle of rebirth. Buddhism is non-theistic: Buddha is not the Buddhist God – he is just a revered teacher. Buddhism is non-theistic: Buddha is not the Buddhist God – he is just a revered teacher.

13 Karma

14 Karma

15 What are some Buddhist texts? Tripitaka (the Pali Cannon) – the “Three Baskets”: Tripitaka (the Pali Cannon) – the “Three Baskets”: Vinaya (“discipline”) – rules for monastic life Vinaya (“discipline”) – rules for monastic life Sutta (“discourse”) – sermons of the Buddha Sutta (“discourse”) – sermons of the Buddha Abhidhamma (metaphysical “teachings”) Abhidhamma (metaphysical “teachings”) Dhammapada – collected sayings of the Buddha Dhammapada – collected sayings of the Buddha Other texts used by specific schools Other texts used by specific schools

16 The Spread of Buddhism Within two centuries after the Buddha died, Buddhism began to spread north and east into Asia. Within two centuries after the Buddha died, Buddhism began to spread north and east into Asia. By the 13 th century, Buddhism had disappeared from India. By the 13 th century, Buddhism had disappeared from India.

17 Schools of Buddhism - Theravad The “Way of the Elders” (a.k.a.: the “small vehicle”) Oldest school of Buddhism Oldest school of Buddhism Found in southern Asia (Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand,…) Found in southern Asia (Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand,…) Monasticism is the ideal life for achieving Nirvana. Monasticism is the ideal life for achieving Nirvana. A “do-it-yourself” approach to enlightenment A “do-it-yourself” approach to enlightenment Focus on wisdom and meditation Focus on wisdom and meditation Goal is to become a Buddha. Goal is to become a Buddha. Fairly unified in belief & practice with some cultural differences Fairly unified in belief & practice with some cultural differences

18 Buddhist Holidays The Theravada tradition celebrates four days every month as uposatha days. The Theravada tradition celebrates four days every month as uposatha days. Theravada Buddhists continue the practice of vassa, a three-month retreat. Theravada Buddhists continue the practice of vassa, a three-month retreat. Three major points in the life of the Buddha are celebrated in all Buddhist countries: Three major points in the life of the Buddha are celebrated in all Buddhist countries: His birth, Enlightenment, and his death or final Nirvana. His birth, Enlightenment, and his death or final Nirvana.

19 Schools of Buddhism - Mahayana The “Great Vehicle” Developed first century C.E. Developed first century C.E. Found in Northern Asia (China, Japan, …) Found in Northern Asia (China, Japan, …) Lay Buddhism – Buddhism “for the masses” Lay Buddhism – Buddhism “for the masses” Devotional – seek guidance from Bodhisattvas (“wise beings”) & heavenly Buddhas (kwan Yin, Amida, …) Devotional – seek guidance from Bodhisattvas (“wise beings”) & heavenly Buddhas (kwan Yin, Amida, …) Focus on compassion Focus on compassion Goal is to become a bodhisattva and assist others.toward enlightenment (the “Bodhisattva Ideal”) Goal is to become a bodhisattva and assist others.toward enlightenment (the “Bodhisattva Ideal”) Diverse schools and sects including: Diverse schools and sects including: Pureland, Nichiren, Tendai, Shingon, and others Pureland, Nichiren, Tendai, Shingon, and others

20 Schools of Buddhism - Tibetan Vajrayana – the “Diamond Vehicle” Developed 7 th century C.E. Developed 7 th century C.E. A mix of Theravada & Mahayana: A mix of Theravada & Mahayana: Rituals (Tantra): Rituals (Tantra): Mantras (chanting) Mantras (chanting) Mandalas & Thankas (symbolic images) Mandalas & Thankas (symbolic images) Mudras (hand gestures) Mudras (hand gestures) Bodhisattvas, including living Lamas (Dalai Lama) Bodhisattvas, including living Lamas (Dalai Lama) Meditation, monasticism, wisdom & compassion Meditation, monasticism, wisdom & compassion Bardo Thodol -Tibetan Book of the Dead Bardo Thodol -Tibetan Book of the Dead

21 Schools of Buddhism –Zen The “meditation” school: Lay and monastic Lay and monastic Seeks sudden enlightenment (satori) through meditation, arriving at emptiness (sunyata) and the “Buddha Nature” Seeks sudden enlightenment (satori) through meditation, arriving at emptiness (sunyata) and the “Buddha Nature” Use of meditation masters (Roshi) Use of meditation masters (Roshi) Koans (paradoxical riddles to confound reason) Koans (paradoxical riddles to confound reason) Beauty, arts & aesthetics – gardens, archery, the tea ceremony, calligraphy, … Beauty, arts & aesthetics – gardens, archery, the tea ceremony, calligraphy, …

22 STUPA

23 RUWANWELISEYA, "GREAT STUPA" uddhanet.net/ stupa.htm

24 DHARMACHAKRA MUDRA (TEACHING)

25 DHYANA MUDRA (MEDITATION) c90_m.jpg c90_m.jpg 73.jpg

26 NAMASKARA MUDRA (PRAYER) gen/namaskara%20mudra.gif jpg

27 VITARKA MUDRA (DEBATE, DISCUSSION) ka.gif

28 VARADA MUDRA (BLESSING, COMPASSION) 75.jpg ada.gif

29 BHUMISPARSHA MUDRA (CALLING EARTH TO WITNESS)

30 VAJRA MUDRA (SUPREME WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE) gion/buddhism/buddhist_mudra.aspx

31 ABHAYA MUDRA (FEARLESSNESS)

32 Buddhism in the West Over the past two centuries, especially since the later half of the 20 th century, Buddhism has made inroads into the Western world through… Immigration of Asian peoples in the 1800’s who have brought their diverse forms of Buddhism to the West Immigration of Asian peoples in the 1800’s who have brought their diverse forms of Buddhism to the West Western followers who tend to adopt meditation practices and the philosophy rather than more devotional forms of Buddhism Western followers who tend to adopt meditation practices and the philosophy rather than more devotional forms of Buddhism Many such western followers remain within their own faith traditions, finding Buddhism to be a complement to rather than in conflict with other religions. Many such western followers remain within their own faith traditions, finding Buddhism to be a complement to rather than in conflict with other religions.

33 Buddhist Thoughts “Nirvana may be the final object of attainment, but for the moment, it is difficult to reach. Thus, the practical and realistic aim is compassion, a warm heart, serving other people, helping others, being less selfish. “ Dalai Lama “Nirvana may be the final object of attainment, but for the moment, it is difficult to reach. Thus, the practical and realistic aim is compassion, a warm heart, serving other people, helping others, being less selfish. “ Dalai Lama “In Buddhism there is no place to apply effort. Everything in it is normal- you put on clothes to keep warm and eat food to stop hunger- that’s all.” Yuan-s’ou “In Buddhism there is no place to apply effort. Everything in it is normal- you put on clothes to keep warm and eat food to stop hunger- that’s all.” Yuan-s’ou “Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it…or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings-that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” Buddha “Believe nothing, O monks, merely because you have been told it…or because it is traditional, or because you yourselves have imagined it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings-that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.” Buddha

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