Four Noble Truths. The Buddha observed that no one can escape death and unhappiness in their life- suffering is inevitable

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1 Buddhism

2 Four Noble Truths The Buddha observed that no one can escape death and unhappiness in their life- suffering is inevitable He studied the cause of unhappiness and it resulted in the Four Noble Truths which have become central to the understanding of Buddhism

3 Four Noble Truths 1. The Noble Truth of Suffering - to live is to suffer - suffering can take the form in frustration, sorrow, discomfort and anger - it is important to realize that moments of happiness cannot last forever

4 Four Noble Truths 2. The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering - the cause of suffering is negative desire - every kind of suffering has its origins in craving or selfish desire in some way - everyone has basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter, and when these needs are met, one should enjoy them without becoming greedy

5 Four Noble Truths 3. The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering - the goal of Buddhism is to end suffering - reaching nirvana will be possible only when the urge to possess more and more things is destroyed - to cut off greed means changing one s views and living a more natural and peaceful life

6 Four Noble Truths 4. The Noble Truth of the Path Leading to the Extinction of Suffering - to end suffering, one must adopt the Middle Way by following the Noble Eightfold Path - adopting this path is to live the Buddhist way of life- a life of self improvement

7 The Noble Eightfold Path When Buddha gave his first sermon at Deer Park, he laid out the eight steps of the path to nirvana The path is laid out as 8 spokes in a wheel with nirvana at the centre as a fixed point Each of the 8 steps work together and in no particular order

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10 The Three Refuges In order to help people follow his teachings and take refuge during difficult experiences, the Buddha established the Three Refuges The purpose of the refuges is to guide followers along the right path and help them in their journey

11 The Three Refuges The Three Refuges are The Buddha (the guide) The dharma (the path) The sangha (companions and teachers) These Three Refuges are often referred to as the Triple Jewel

12 Dhammapada, section 14, verses People, driven by fear, go for refuge to many places--to hills, woods, groves, trees and shrines. Such, indeed, is no safe refuge; such is not the refuge supreme. Not by resorting to such a refuge is one released from all suffering. Those who have gone for refuge to the Buddha, his Teaching and his Order, penetrate with wisdom the Four Noble Truths--suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the Noble Eightfold Path leading to the cessation of suffering. This indeed is the safe refuge, this is the refuge supreme. Having gone to such a refuge, one is released from all suffering.

13 The Six Perfections A Bodhisattva is a person who has attained nirvana but choses to be reborn within samsara They do this to help others in their path to enlightenment

14 The Six Perfections A Bodhisattva practices the Six Perfections: Giving Morality Patience Vigour Meditation Wisdom (the most important as it indicates full awareness)

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16 Practices and Rituals Most Buddhist devotions are not performed in a temple with a congregation, except for major festivals Most have a place set aside at home to complete worship in either the morning and/or the evening

17 Practices and Rituals It is always possible to go to the temple at any time, but it is more common for this to take place on festive or special days This can include pujas which are meant to honor holy beings and show reverence through bowing, offerings and chanting

18 Practices and Rituals A lay person bows often in many occasions- to monks and nuns to show respect or before sacred objects (such as images of the Buddha) Offerings are performed at home or at the temple with flowers being the most common offering Flowers may fade, but they emphasize the notion of anicca

19 Practices and Rituals Meditation is meant to improve concentration, calm the mind and clear it of bad thoughts to lead to the end of suffering Meditation brings insights into truths and inner peace which is meant to lead to compassion and humility

20 To meditate, one should sit in the lotus posture with crossed legs, hands on the lap and the soles of the feet on top of the thighs

21 Practices and Rituals Buddhists also chant mantras to help them get in touch with their spiritual nature They also serve to enhance meditation Some mantras are associated with different beings or bodhisattvas, while others are sacred phrases without associations

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23 Buddha Images The icons and images of the Buddha to which Buddhists pay homage are considered representations of him and his teaching to be respected, not generally worshipped The portrayal of the Buddha differs according to the part of the world where his images are found- he often appears standing, seated in lotus posture or reclining

24 Stupa Stupas are dome shaped mounds that were built to house the relics of the Buddha or other holy figures Many Buddhist temples have a stupa where monks and lay people walk around when making their devotions A pilgrimage to a stupa is considered an important activity to many

25 Lotus Flower Lotus flowers are considered an important symbol because they can be bogged down in mud and still grow and bloom In the same way a lotus flower can bloom in mud, all people have the ability to develop their true potential and rise from an undesirable life

26 Mandalas The Tibetan word for mandala is khiyl-khor meaning centre of the Universe in which a fully awakened being abides The basic structure of a mandala consists of a square in the centre that is enclosed by circles which symbolizes the limits of physical space

27 Mandalas Mandalas are either made of sand or are wall hangings Mandalas are representations of the ground floor plans for the heavenly mansion of a particular deity or divine person Viewing a mandala generates energy and brings the viewer closer to enlightenment

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29 Sacred Writings The main written source of Buddha s wisdom is the Tripitaka or the Three Baskets There are three sections to the Tripitaka that were once kept in 3 separate baskets The Vinaya-Pitaka The Sutta-Pitaka The Abhidhamma-Pitaka

30 The Vinaya-Pitaka Referred to as the Basket of Discipline It consists of five books that address the rules of monastic life and codes of conduct

31 The Sutta-Pitaka Referred to as the Basket of Discourses Contained in five collections and incorporates the teachings of the Buddha Contains the Dhammapada- a collection of 424 verses on ethics

32 In this world hate never dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and haustible. Anger is like a chariot careering wildly. He who curbs his anger is the true charioteer. Others merely hold the reins.

33 The Abhidhamma-Pitaka Referred to as the Basket of Further Teachings This section discusses the nature of consciousness and includes technical explanations of the Sutta-Pitaka

34 Sutras The Mahayana school of Buddhism contributed to the sacred writings by adding more Sutras, or discourses attributed to the Buddha Reciting or copying these Sutras are believed to give merit to the participants

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36 Groups As with many religions, the development of Buddhism was affected by disagreements between members that caused a split The sangha spread the teachings of Buddha across Asia and met often to discuss matters such as proper behaviour and scriptures

37 Groups After the Buddha s passing, there was various councils called to discuss the problems within the sangha In 383 BCE, a council was called to settle which Sutras should be included as scriptures which caused a disagreement between 2 groups

38 The Theravada School This group is found in southeast Asian countries (such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, etc.) The name means the Way of the Elders and is considered the original and more conservative school

39 The Theravada School The emphasis is on the teachings of the Buddha and not the Buddha himself, as the Buddha is seen as a human figure whose teaching help pattern their lives Those who achieve nirvana are called the Arhats and they represent the ideal of spiritual life

40 The Mahayana School This group is found in eastern Asia in countries like China, Vietnam and Japan The name means the Greater Vehicle This more liberal school considers the Buddha a divine being and emphasizes the role of the Bodhisattvas and pray to them for blessings

41 Theravada Beliefs: -Humans are individuals -Key virtue is wisdom -Religion is for monks -Buddha is a saint Mahayana Beliefs: -Humans are involved with others -Key virtue is compassion -Religion is for the lay person -Buddha is a saviour

42 The Vajrayana School A third school is found in Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan that emerged at a later date This school places emphasis on rituals (such as mantras) and visualization in creations (such as mandalas)

43 It s from Tibet that we see how Buddhism mixes with government in the form of a theocracy- a government rule by monks and religious leaders The leader of the government is the Dalai Lama, a position that is held by one man for his entire life and passed onto another upon death Lama is the term given to religious leader in Tibet

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