The course taught me a lot about my chosen path,especially about the history. In the 20 lessons it covers,most aspects are covered well.
"Buddhism is not a religion about doctrines or rituals,it is a religion about practice and enlightenment. Enlightenment is not about some type of trance or out of body experience(or salvation,my note),it is about being able to preform your daily tasks with understanding,loving kindness,compassion,and non violence."
Buddhism is also a philosophy.It is a way of life without a set dogma and with a set of guidelines to help us in life(this one and the next).One of the ways i have learned this is the 5 contemplations:
1.Old age will come;i have not outstripped old age.
2.Disease will come;i have not outstripped disease.
3.Death will come;i have not outstripped death.
4.All things near and dear to me are subject to alteration;subject to
5.I am the result of my own deeds;whatever deed i do,skilled or
unskilled,good or bad,i shall become heir to.
When this is taken in light with the 4 nobel truths:1.All life is
2.The cause of suffering is desire.
3.Suffering can be ended.
4.The way to end suffering is the 8 fold path.
and the teachings of the 8 fold path,one begins to understand the
teachings of the Buddha.
Buddhism as a philosophy also teaches us that if we become attached to the concept of"self",we cause suffering;not only for ourselves, but many (Buddhist and non Buddhist alike) misunderstand this.It is not a
teaching of nothingness or non existence,but a teaching o whatever we do affects all.
The chant(prayer if you prefer):
"I go to the buddha for refuge"
"I go to the Dharma for refuge"
"I go to the Sangha for refuge"
sums this up.
We recognize that the historical Buddha(Siddhartha Gautama)was the first(that we know of)teacher who attained enlightenment and we strive to do the same.
When we take refuge in the Dharma,we are saying we choose to follow the teachings of the Buddha,and all who come after him,on our path to enlightenment.
To take refuge in the Sangha means to accept and understand that we are all part of a community at large(the world), therefore all actions affect the whole, now and later.
There is much more to this than I can or have covered here.To learn it all would take more than one lifetime.
I leave with this quote:"Do not use what you learn about Buddhism to be a better Buddhist.Use it to become a better what you already are" the 14th Dali Lama
well amy,here it is.not a true masters discertation,but thankfully not
requried(i would probably never have gotten it done).if it meets with
your approval,i will post same to the board(without the personal
comments).if you feel it needs any changes,please feel free to note them and i
will do so.
my address is:
Mark A. Lightfoot
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