2 The Story There once was a prince living in a palace who had the distinct sense that something was wrong. His name was Siddhartha Gautama. He probably lived sometime in the 6 th century B.C.
3 The Story His father went to great lengths to shield his son from anything that might upset him. Gautama lived as a coddled prince enjoying what, by all appearances, is a life of champagne and caviar. He had a beautiful house, wife and son.
4 The Story But in the midst of all this beauty Gautama could not stop the questions from bubbling up. How did I get here?
5 The Story And so he informed his father that he wanted to go outside the palace to see the real world. Reluctantly his father agreed to send him on a tour outside the confines of the palace, with the accompaniment of a guide.
6 The Story On his 1 st trip he saw a sick person and asked his guide, What is that? His guide answered, A sick person. Each of us falls ill. You and I alike. No one is exempt from sickness.
7 The Story On his 2nd trip he saw an old man and asked his guide, What is that? His guide answers, An old person. Each of us gets old. You and I alike. No one is exempt from old age.
8 The Story On his 3rd trip he saw a corpse and asked his guide, What is that? His guide answered, A dead person. Each of us dies. You and I alike. No one is exempt from death.
9 The Story On his 4 th trip he saw a wandering holy man and asked his guide, What is that? His guide answered, A wandering ascetic who has left behind spouse, family, job and home in search of spiritual liberation.
10 The Story For Siddhartha these sights brought on a midlife crisis as he decided there must be more to life than profit, power, pleasure, prestige and the endless cycle of old age, birth, disease, and death. So, at the age of 29, he vowed to go search that out. The event is call the Great Departure.
11 The Story Siddhartha left his father, wife and son, walked out of his palace, rode to the border of what would have been his vast inheritance, shaved his head, took off his fine clothes, and took on the life of a wandering holy man.
12 The Story For years he meandered around North India, studying with various yogis/holy men philosophical Hinduism) searching for a solution to the problem of human suffering as he whittled his body down to skin and bones.
13 The Story But the more he disciplined his body, the more it desperately it cried out for food and sleep. He decided to strike out on his own forging a Middle Path.
14 The Story At the age of 35, after 6 years as a renouncer he sat crossed-legged under a tree in Bodhgaya in North India and vowed not to get up until he had found the secret of everlasting wandering from rebirth to rebirth.
15 The Story After 49 days, awakening came upon him. From that moment on he was the Buddha. Buddha is a title (like Christ ) and it means Awakened One.
16 The Story The Buddha then returned to his itinerant life, wandering in silence for days. He then decided he needed to help others see what he had seen and experience what he had experienced so that they could also escape from this sorrow-piled mountainwall of old age, birth, disease, and death. So he delivered his sermon in which he stated The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.
17 The Four Noble Truths 1. Life is marked by suffering/anxiety. All temporary things and states are unsatisfying. 2. Suffering s origin is desire. We crave and cling to things and states; thereby, we're continuously reborn.
18 The Four Noble Truths 3. Suffering can be eliminated by eliminating desire. If we stop craving and clinging, we won't be reborn. 4. The path to the elimination of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path. Behaving decently, not acting on impulses, and practicing mindfulness and meditation, which help with this self-control.
19 The First Noble Truth Human existence is characterized by suffering/anxiety. Reincarnation is an unending wheel of friction and frustration. Each of us, no matter how rich or poor/strong or weak, is going to get sick, grow old and die. Because nothing is permanent, nothing can permanently satisfy us.
20 The First Noble Truth Because things change and pass away, everything and everyone we love will someday be no more. The happiness we experience is fleeting.
21 The Second Noble Truth Suffering s origin is desire. Everything in this world is interdependent, linked in a great chain of cause and effect (karma). We suffer because we close our eyes to the way the world really is. We pretend we are independent when we are really interdependent.
22 The Second Noble Truth We pretend that changing things are unchanging. We suffer because we grasp after people, places and things as if they can redeem us from suffering. We suffer because we cling to beliefs and judgments. In Buddhism you have changed is a description of what is happening every moment of every day.
23 The Third Noble Truth Suffering can be eliminated by eliminating desire. We must stop clinging to things that are constantly changing in order to achieve nirvana. By extinguishing thirst, grasping, suffering, greed, hate, delusion and rebirth we can reach bliss that is beyond description and peace. Nirvana is not simply a static place you go to after death, but can be achieved in this lifetime.
24 The Forth Noble Truth The path to the elimination of suffering and to nirvana is the Noble Eightfold Path. It is the Middle Path that steers clear of the extremes of self-indulgence and selfmortification.
25 The Eightfold Path
26 The Eightfold Path
27 Buddhism After Buddha s sermon on the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path those who decided to join Buddha s community started the Buddhist mission. For the next 45 years Buddha wandered around the Indian subcontinent, turning the wheel of dharma (teaching) and gathering monks and nuns into a motley crew of wandering beggars.
28 Buddhism Buddha died at the age of 80. Just before passing into what Buddhists refer to as the final nirvana he asked his followers not to grieve for him.
29 Buddhism People can solve the human problem on their own, without god(s) or divine revelation. Buddhism is the most psychological of all the great religions. Buddhist tradition places its emphasis on experience over belief.
30 The four Sacred Places of Buddhism Lumbini where Buddha was born. Bodh Gaya where Buddha was enlightened. Sarnath where Buddha gave his first sermon. Kusinagara where Buddha died.
31 The four Sacred Places of Buddhism Devout Buddhists make the circuit of going on pilgrimage to these sacred places.
32 Buddhism Buddhism became the first of the great religions to develop the institution of monasticism. Buddhism spread across the Indian subcontinent, and places like Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Tibet. It rejected the caste system, was indifferent to the (Hindu) scriptures, ceremonies and status of high caste Brahmins.
33 Buddhism Buddhism spread because it had a story of someone woke out from this world of illusion and had solved the problem of human suffering and the cycle of life, death, rebirth, life, death.. Today about 7% of the world s population are Buddhists, making it the world s 4 th largest religion behind Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.
34 Buddhist Beliefs Like Hindus, Buddhists trace the human problem to the karma fueled cycle of life, death and rebirth. Rebirth is undesirable because life is marked by suffering. The problem Buddhism seeks to overcome is suffering. The goal is nirvana, which literally means blowing out to extinguish suffering.
35 Buddhist Beliefs Some Buddhists are deeply engaged in questions of rebirth and the afterlife, but most focus on the here and now. Suffering is the problem and nirvana is the solution. We suffer by ignorant cravings by mistaking changing things for unchanging ones. We then cling desperately to these supposedly unchanging forms and experience suffering.
36 Buddhist Beliefs Suffering arises from wanting something other than what is. Even that which seems most certain the self is actually a figment of the imagination. Where Descartes said, I think therefore I am. The Buddhist says If you think carefully enough you will see that you are not. According to Buddhists the self does not exist, and the sooner we wake-up and stop clinging to the illusionary self, the sooner we will escape suffering.
37 Buddhist Beliefs We have no soul/self. There is no I or you as if it were some unchanging essence. I/You is nothing more than a conventional name attached to an ever-changing combination of separate parts. i.e. A car is composed of its frame and wheels and axles. The term car is an agreed-upon names for the coming together of various objects, but no car exists.
38 Buddhist Beliefs In the same way I is a conventional designation for the coming together of hair, head, hands, ideas and emotions. Outside of these no essence of me is to found. The false belief that I am some permanent unchanging, independent essence unleashes all sorts of untold suffering. We put an end to ignorance and grasping and suffering by realizing the lie of the false self.
39 How to Achieve Nirvana Buddhists use a variety of techniques to achieve this goal. Some chant. Some use visualization. Some puzzle over mind benders. Buddhists are best known for their practice of meditation. Of all the styles of Buddhist meditation, the simplest is following your breath.
40 How to Achieve Nirvana Another popular Buddhist practice is mindfulness meditation. Here, instead of your breath, you follow your feelings or thoughts or sensations. Simply be mindful of things as they are, to observe how conditions arise and pass away. No feeling is final and no thought or sensation either.
41 How to Achieve Nirvana Metta is another form of Buddhist meditation. It means unconditional love or love without attachment or expectation of return. You begin to feel unattached love for yourself. You move on to cultivate it for a friend. Then you feel it for someone you neither like or dislike. Then for someone you dislike or even hate. Finally, you extend unattached love to all beings everywhere in the world and beyond.
42 Buddha, Dharma, Sangha Three Jewels I take refuge in the Buddha (awakening). I take refuge in the Dharma (teaching). I take refuge in the Sangha (community). The Buddha is a human being in the earliest forms of awakening. In Hinduism, dharma means duty. In Buddhism it refers primarily to teaching: To know things as they are.
43 The Evolution of Buddhism The earliest forms of Buddhism did not speak of god(s) or stress the supernatural. They saw the Buddha as a human being. Buddhism later incorporated many of the ideas of Hinduism, creating an elaborate pantheon of Buddhas and other spiritual beings with supernatural powers.
44 The Main Schools of Buddhism Theravadins The only way to achieve nirvana was to withdraw from the worlds of family, work, sex, and money into the celibate life of a monk or nun. For this reason, some refer to the Theravada path as Monastic Buddhism.
45 The Main Schools of Buddhism Mahayana The Mahayana branch also has its monastics, but renunciation is optional. Ordinary husbands and wives, employees and bosses express their devotion to new Buddhas by visiting temples and reading new scriptures. Today this is the most popular Buddhist school.
46 Mahayana Buddhists Today Believe they can win nirvana through the grace of a Buddha of their choosing. The most popular Buddha (other than the first one) is the Buddha of Infinite Light who can create, out of his immeasurable storehouse of good karma, a celestial abode of bliss.
47 The Main Schools of Buddhism Zen Buddhism The word Zen means meditation. In this deceptively difficult practice, you just sit. You don t try to follow your breath or to see into the nature of reality. You just sit idle for a time without thinking.
48 Zen Buddhism The Koan a second Zen practice. A Zen master will pose a puzzle to a student: What is the sound of one hand clapping? ; What was your face before your mother or father was born? ; What would the Buddha have said if there was no one to hear and no opportunity to teach? Students will then try to offer a response that is genuine, spontaneous and unrehearsed.
49 The Koan
50 Emptiness Teaching Things appear to have permanent, unchanging essences. But as much as we hate to admit it, nothing is really permanent, and everything is constantly changing. From the perspective of Absolute Truth, everything is empty. Ultimately, there is no distinction between you and your best friend.
51 Emptiness Teaching There is no unchanging essence to you or me. In this branch of Buddhism you don t actually become a Buddha, you simply cease to be deluded of what you already are. Being a Buddha is not being a spiritual superman, but becoming a true human being.
52 Emptiness Teaching Emptiness frees us from enslavement to people, judgements, objects and ideas. It even frees us from the person of the Buddha and the institutions of Buddhism itself.
53 Emptiness Teaching Why should clinging to the Buddha cause us less suffering than clinging to god(s) or self or boyfriend or political party or ideology or nation? Trust only what you yourself have seen to be true in your own experiences.
54 Emptiness The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and Buddhahood itself are also empty. We should abandon attachment to every teaching and every practice.
55 Emptiness To experience bliss all we need to do is open the heart to emptiness. What the experience of emptiness teaches us is that there is nowhere to go, nothing to wait for. This is it. The emptiness of emptiness emptiness is empty too.
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