What is Buddhism? Mindfulness in layman’s terms: https://www.facebook.com/anitalennox108/
Picture – The Most Beautiful Buddha Sculptures in the World
For those who have little or no knowledge – Buddhism is a science and philosophy of mind. There are many traditions of Buddhism and they all do exactly the same practice but in different ways. There are some main branches of Buddhism such as Mahayana, Zen, Theravada, & Vajrayana. They abide in various countries hence different cultures thus do things in different ways. ALL buddhism follow a common path however and that is the 5 precepts which are: refrain from taking life, ie killing any living creature. to refrain from taking what is not freely given, ie theft. to refrain from misuse of the senses or sexual misconduct, ie overindulgence in sex or committing sexual offences. to refrain from wrong speech, ie lying or gossiping. Then they follow the ‘8 Fold Path’ but perhaps in different ways reaching the same goals. These are ‘the Buddhist teaching of the means of ‘attaining Nirvana through rightness of belief, resolve, speech, action, livelihood, effort, thought, and meditation — see four noble truths’.
These are followed devotingly by those genuinely on this Philosophical path and have the desire to develop their own minds. There is NO God in Buddhism only a reliance on one’s own mind, which means one learns to develop 100% responsibility for ones actions and ones reactions towards others. Buddhist hope to become Bodhisattvas if following the ‘greater vehicle’ in order to help others find peace, compassion and wisdom. Buddhism does not preach, it allows people to find ones own guided path. This fortunate path teaches people to become more compassionate and wise, its that simple. Buddhism is anti-cult, everything that is taught is based on understanding one’s own mind and heart (which are considered the same thing) and questioning this understanding constantly but also questioning any teachers and even Buddha himself. As Buddha states ‘test everything before you believe it’. When you test all with questions you find the truth eventually. As the truth always, ultimately reveals itself.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha
It is the choice of the individual whether they want to be a free Buddhist and experience all different traditions, but it also a choice to follow one tradition and simply because it is easier to gain a deeper understanding. A wide read is good for anyone doing a degree in Buddhism and if you have all the time in the world, but every book that is read in any tradition follows the same principle – that of Compassion and Wisdom penultumately and ultimately. We all have this inside ourselves, some people find it more difficult to find than others and books act as a guidance towards that goal.
Do we tell anyone elses what they should read? Oh yes, we do. At University and at School, in the Chistian and Catholic church, in a spitiritualist church (no thats listening and following spirit guidance) – there is nothing wrong with that if that is the person’s choice. Buddhism however, allows freedom of choice and that cannot be denied when a person has taken the time to study it deeply or even on the surface, it obvious. It follows Quantum Physics. But even Quantum Physics can be questioned.
in my opinion, Buddhsm is a beautiful path, full of peace, friendship, loyalty It’s not perfect as people are not perfect but I have never come across anyone truely practicing it showing cruelty or malice, only mistakes. We all make mistakes. Buddhism shows the path to understanding the mind, and when we see the beauty and potential of our own minds, it amazing and correct. It’s difficult to explain ‘correct’, I guess for me it means, accurate intuition, the wisdom to decifer what is right in the present moment – a not such an easy skill to uphold but Buddhism appears to have the tool. Otherwise known as, Mindfulness.
I would like to defend all Buddhist traditions from discrimination, particularly when it comes to accusations of killings. During wars or attacks in the past on Buddhist temples, most monks would rather have themselves injured than injure another being, however historically, the Shaolin monks decided to defend themselves and their sacred temples by fighting back. Fighting out of compassion is necessary when protecting something from attack or protecting the vulnerable. Tell me now if you disagree with that as a human being? Should the monks protect themselves from attack? Should we protect the vulnerable? Search for the true answer in your own mind.
My first hand experience of living at a Buddhist centre for 5 years is ‘how amazing’ – I am very forturnate to have found Buddhas teachings, so beautiful and peaceful, and forgiving whenever one get’s it wrong. This part is easy though, especially when we understand and except 100 % responsibility for our own Karma and realise that any thought , speech or action is our receipt and our karmic debt.
“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” By ― Buddha Siddhartha Guatama Shakyamuni
That is the philosophy of Buddhism.
By Anita Lennox