buddhism n.
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  1. Buddhism

  2. Basic Data

  3. Basic Data

  4. Who is a Buddhist? • About 376 million persons are “traditional Buddhists” • They have taken refuge in the Three Jewels, those following all of the precepts of Buddhism laid down by the Buddha,) • About 1.2 billion includes "natural Buddhists" (as well as secular/nominal Buddhists) • They lack specific ceremony • They do not profess belief in another religion

  5. Terms

  6. Arahant: one who achieves nirvana Anatman:  the state of nonsoulness that, according to the Buddha, was the natural state of humanity Dalai Lama:  Leader of Tibetan Buddhism and, until 1950, the spiritual and political ruler of Tibet koan:  literally means, "case study"; a riddle, tale, or short statement used by Zen masters to bring students to sudden insight

  7. Nirvana:literally means, “cessation,” “extinction,” "blowing out," or "extinguish"; cessation of human individuality and suffering Sangha:  Buddhist monastic order Samsar: Cycle of Rebirth; the endless reincarnation of sentient beings

  8. The Four Noble Truths -- 1) Life in samsara is suffering; 2) This has a cause; 3) It may be ended; 4) There is a path for ending it. The Eight-fold Path -- Eight categories of a) social behavior, b) meditation behavior, c) attitude & belief -- the path to end suffering Trance (dhyana [Japanese: zen]) -- The state of the mind as it truly "sees"

  9. Selfhood: The "permanent identity" that the mind, in its ignorance, ascribes to things (and to itself) Atman: the soul; the core of "self" erroneously ascribed to mental activity Bodhisattva -- An enlightened being who remains in the Cycle in order to "ferry" other beings to nirvana

  10. Pure Consciousness/Thoughts/Mind:The three levels of mental activity: an existing flow of sentience; atom-like thoughts; the intellect Bodhi: Enlightenment; Awakening to the awareness of one's Ignorance Prajna: Wisdom; the clear perception of the world as Emptiness

  11. The Five "Skandhas" -- The five elements which join to form the illusory identity of a human being: 1) material form; 2) feelings; 3) perceptions; 4) impulses; 5) consciousness Karma-- The value of mental acts (which are linked to behavior), in relation to their effect on increasing or decreasing Ignorance [for example, "selfish" acts are bad: they reinforce attachment to "self"]

  12. Three “Schools” of Buddhism Mahayana:  literally means, "the expansive way," or "the big raft"; the largest branch of Buddhism; those Buddhist which take the Boddhisattva as the ideal (the major form of Buddhism in China, Korea, and Japan)

  13. Three “Schools” of Buddhism Theravada:  literally means, "the tradition of the elders"; the smaller branch of Buddhism; the Buddhists which take the Arhat as the ideal (currently most popular in Southeast Asia) Zen Buddhism:  Form of Mahayana Buddhism that teaches that the real truth about life comes from intuitive flashes of insight

  14. Siddhartha Gautama(Buddha)

  15. Early Life • Born in 5th Century BC (BCE) • Lived 80 years • Lived in the foothills of the Himalayas • Son of a wealthy landowner or nobleman • Named • Siddhartha = “wish-fulfiller” or “one who reaches his goal” • Gautama = family name

  16. Buddhist Legend “The epics embellish [Gautama’s] birth story as an immaculate conception in which a white elephant carrying a lotus flower entered his mother’s womb in her dream.” (Fisher, 130) “He is portrayed as the reincarnation of a great being who had been born many times before and was drawn to earth once again by his compassion for all suffering beings.” (ibid.)

  17. Important Details • Raised in the Hindu religion • Raised in luxury, never needing or wanting for anything • KEY: Did not know suffering or poverty • Trained in the martial arts • Married with a son (named “Rahul”=chain) • Became disillusioned with riches, ease, marriage

  18. Four Sights Legend At the age of 29, when he was most disillusioned “the gods arranged for him to see the ‘four sights’ that his father had tried to hide from him” (Fisher) A bent over old man (old age) A sick person (suffering) A dead man (death) A monk seeking eternal pleasure instead of temporal (material, fleeting) pleasure

  19. Four Sights Impact Shook Siddhartha out of his lethargy, apathy and disillusionment Showed him the impermanence of life and existence Showed him the existence of suffering, old age, death and renunciation

  20. Four Sights: Result • Renounced wealth • Left wife and newborn son • Shaved head (sign of penance, grief) • Became a wandering ascetic • Homeless poverty, as a beggar • Common for Hindus who seek of spiritual truth • Six years of extreme abnegation • Exposure, breath retention, bed of brambles, severe fasting

  21. Middle Way • After six years, Siddhartha concluded that neither luxury nor extreme abnegation • Both are temporal • Both are temporary “fixes” and do not provide real relief • Suffering is in the mind more than in the body • Suffering is the result of “existence” and “being” • Key: escape existence and being • Conclusion: Middle Way (all things in moderation)

  22. Enlightenment • To solve “theodicy” (problem of suffering) Gautama tried meditation • Sixth lunar month, night of a full moon • Underneath a Gaya tree • The bodhi Gaya • Experience “Supreme Enlightenment” • Recall all four previous lives • Entered nirvana

  23. Result of Enlightenment • Gautama became the Buddha • He realized that the cycle (samsar) of life and rebirth is a cycle of suffering • One merely goes from one life of suffering to another • He also realized that enlightenment was the way to break the cycle, the way to end suffering • His new life goal: to teach this way, or path, to others • Mara (evil in human form) tried to convince him that his insights should not be taught; they were too complex and too difficult

  24. Later Years • Gautama spent the last 45 years of his life as a peripatetic teacher • The essence of his teaching • Four Noble Truths (about suffering) • Eight-fold Path (liberation from suffering) • Volunteer teacher with nothing but a begging bowl • Rahul emulated his father’s life of poverty and spiritual dedication (one of the first monks)

  25. Later Years • Gautama’s stepmother became the first Buddhist nun • Buddha at first resisted female monks, but then gave into the request of his stepmother and 500 other women • Break from Hinduism: women may also achieve enlightenment • Gautama renounced all forms of killing • Break the cycle of death for all sentient beings • End suffering by living at peace with the world

  26. Death • Died after eating food that accidentally contained poisonous mushrooms • Designated no successor • Dharma (way of life) and self-discipline were his “successors” • His bones (relics) were taken to 10 locations in India where temples of veneration were built • Pilgrimage sites