Buddhism Introduction Buddhists do not believe in a God. This however does pose the question as to whether Buddhism can be classed as a religion. Buddha means enlightened. They believe everything is constantly changing. Nothing is fixed or permanent. They follow a path of meditation, morality and wisdom to reach enlightenment. There are many different subdivisions of Buddhism. Important Figures
The Buddha http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=B1Qhja4OhdM Siddhartha Gautama is the Buddha he was born in Nepal over 2500 years ago. He was born into royalty and lived a life of luxury. One day he left royal grounds and witnessed an old man, a sick man and a corpse. Troubled by what he had seen he turned to other religions such as a Monk and an Indian asceticism. Siddhartha Gautama wasnt content with either path so decided to pursue the Middle Way - a life without luxury but also without poverty.
Buddhists believe that seated beneath the Bodhi tree (the tree of awakening), Siddhartha meditated and reflected on his experience of life until he became enlightened. By finding the path to enlightenment Siddhartha became known as the Buddha or 'awakened one'. The Bodhi tree The Bodhi Tree stands beside the Mahabodhi temple in India. It is the tree in which Buddhists believe the Buddha came to enlightenment under whilst mediating, it is
described as complete and perfect sanity. Dalai Lama Dalai Lama means Ocean of Wisdom. The current Dalai Lama is 76 years old. The Dalai Lama is the head monk in the school of Tibetan Buddhism. 1937 Current date Choosing of the Dalai Lama
After the Dalai Lama has died it is tradition for the High Lamas to find a boy who was born around the same time as the death. (this is because they believe in reincarnation). High Lamas have many ways in which they might find where the reincarnation is Dream One of the High Lamas may dream about a location that will identify the boy. Smoke If the previous Dalai Lama was cremated, High Lamas will watch the direction of the smoke and search in that direction. Oracle Lake High Lamas go to this holy lake and watch for a sign from the lake itself i.e. A vision, an indication of direction.
Once the High Lamas have located the home in which this reincarnation has occurred they present a number of artefacts which they have brought with them in preparation for this child. If the boy chooses the items that belonged to the previous Dalai Lama it means that the boy they have chosen is a reincarnation. The Four Noble Truths The Four Noble Truths contain the essence of the Buddha's teachings. It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the Bodhi tree. 1. The truth of suffering 2. The truth of the origin of suffering (the cause of suffering) 3. The truth of the cessation of suffering (realising there is a cure to suffering/making it stop)
4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (the eightfold path, the journey to stop suffering) Buddhist Meditation Meditation is a form of mental concentration that leads ultimately to enlightenment and spiritual freedom. Meditation has been known to have health benefits and is possible for anyone to try. It involves the body and the mind. There are two main types of Buddhist meditation: Insight Tranquillity Different practices of meditation are: Concentrative Generative Receptive
Reflective There are also many holy days in Buddhism such as, Dharma Day, Losar, Sangha Day, Kathina, Parinirvana and Buddha Day which is known as Wesak. The 5 moral precepts Buddhists refrain from 1. Harming things 2. Taking what is not given 3. Sexual misconduct 4. Lying or gossip 5. Taking intoxicating substances (drugs, alcohol) The Eight Fold Path The noble eightfold
path is extremely important in Buddhism since it impacts on how people live. Following the eightfold path means that believers try and live better lives in accordance with the morality enclosed in it. Karma Teachings about karma explain that our past actions affect us, either positively or negatively, and that our present actions will affect us in the future.
The concepts of karma have developed over time. Buddhists follow teachings such as the eightfold path in the hope that leading a life of good will reduce chances of misfortune. Karma also has an affect in reincarnation. Bad actions can be continued/follow a person into their next life. Karma also determines where a person will be born into their next life. The wheel of life explains the 5 realms that Buddhists believe in. The Wheel of Life The Wheel of Life The realm of humans the
most fortunate state. They have the best chance of enlightenment. They suffer the least but are not in total bliss like the Gods. The realm of Gods live in a state of bliss in the realm of heaven. They live for a long time but they too will die. At the bottom there
are angry Gods known as the Titans who dislike the other Gods. The wheel is held by a demon known as Yama the Lord of death. Yama symbolises the impermanence of everything. Buddhism teaches to not be afraid of death and that it
is not the end. The Three Fires the 3 main causes of suffering. Greed, ignorance and hatred represented in a pig, rooster and snake. Represents the Buddhists view of the universe. There are 5 sections on the wheel which a soul can be reborn into. The realm of animalsanimals are considered
to lack the awareness to become enlightened. Buddhists do not believe it is a good thing to be reborn as an animal although they do believe in treating every living thing with kindness. Hell- at the bottom of the wheel. People here get tortured but only until their
bad karma has been worked off. The realm of hungry ghosts stuck between mortal realms full of their unfulfilled desires. Symbolised by their huge bellies and tiny mouths that cannot be Here are some Buddhists meditating. This is a picture of a tree that Buddhists have tied ribbons to as a symbol of a hope, wish, dream or prayer as they believe that the wind will carry the aspiration away to be heard in the hope that it may come true.
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