A Basic Introduction to Buddhism for Beginners
Buddhism is a religion to roughly 300 million people around the world and the name comes from ‘budhi’ which means ‘to awaken’. Buddhism originated about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself enlightened, or awakened, at the age of 35.
While most of our readers are Christians, we must remind ourselves of John 6:37 – “”All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.”
Is Buddhism a Religion?
To many practitioners, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy and way of life. The path of Buddhism can be summed up as follows:
- To lead a moral life.
- To be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions
- To develop wisdom and understanding
The Buddha taught many things, but the basics of Buddhism can be summarised as the Four Nobel Truths and the Nobel Eightfold Path.
The First Nobel Truth
The first truth is that life is suffering and includes pain, aging, disease, and ultimately death. We will also endure psychological suffering such as loneliness, frustration, disappointment, and anger, and this is realistic as opposed to pessimistic. Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
The Second Nobel Truth
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion, and we will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectations. Rather than continuously struggling to attain what you desire, instead try to modify your wanting.
The Third Nobel Truth
If we forgo ceaseless craving and learn to take each day as it comes, then we can be truly happy and free, which gives us more time to help others (and more time for sports betting at https://onlinebetting.nz/!) The third noble truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness attained, and that true happiness and contentment are possible.
The Fourth Nobel Truth
The fourth truth is that the Nobel Eightfold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.
The Nobel Eightfold Path
The Nobel Eightfold Path can be summarised as follows:
- Being moral
- Focusing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions
- Developing wisdom by understanding the Four Nobel Truths
- Developing compassion for others
The 5 Precepts
The moral code within Buddhism is known as the precepts, of which the main five are:
- Not to take the life of anything living
- Not to take anything not freely given
- To abstain from sexual misconduct and overindulgence
- To refrain from untrue speech
- To avoid intoxication as you will lose mindfulness
Karma is the law that every cause has an effect – you reap what you sow – and this law explains a number of things:
- Inequality in the world
- Why some are born handicapped and some gifted
- Why some only live a short life
Karma underlines the importance of individuals taking responsibility for their past and present actions. You can test the karmic effect of your actions with 3 simple questions:
- What is the intention behind your action?
- What are the effects of the action on oneself?
- What are the effects of the action on others?
- Buddhism can be understood and tested by anyone
- Buddhism teaches that the solutions to life’s problems are within ourselves and not outside