Many Westerners remain fairly uneducated when it comes to the Eastern religions and spiritual traditions. For many Hinduism and Buddhism are belief systems they may have only heard of in passing.
According to Adherents.com, Buddhism is mainly associated with the Far East where, in Thailand, 95% of the population are Buddhists. In China, over 102 million people practice Buddhism and it is currently listed as the fourth most practiced belief system, with over 360 million practitioners worldwide. The first Buddha was a prince named Siddhartha Gautama. He was born into a wealthy family in Nepal (563 BC). He chose to leave his wealth and travel through his realm.
The secret of Buddhism is to remove all ideas, all concepts, in order for the truth to have a chance to penetrate, to reveal itself ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
On his journey Siddharta witnessed death, disease, poverty as he had never seen them before in protected palace life. Finally, tiring of his travels, he sat beneath a Bodhi tree to meditate, stating that he would remain there until he arrived at some answers to all the suffering in the world. On the seventh day he achieved ‘enlightenment.’ After this, his teachings involved balance between self-indulgence and self-denial.
The Buddha also professed the Four Noble Truths:
- Dukkha – in which all existence is unsatisfactory and filled with suffering.
- Tanha – Dukkha arises from craving or clinging.
- Dukkha can cease – this is Nirvana.
- Nirvana is reached via the Eightfold Path.
It is always a question of knowing and seeing, and not that of believing. The teaching of the Buddha is qualified as ehi-passika, inviting you to ‘come and see’, but not to come and believe ~ Walpola Rahula
Most Buddhists also belief in the cycle of life and death. They see this cycle as ‘existence’ and Nirvana is liberation from this state. The Eightfold Path consists of the following, mastered in any order:
1. Right understanding
2. Right purpose
3. Right speech
4. Right conduct
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right alertness
8. Right concentration
Like all religions, Buddhism has divided itself. Currently, there are three main divisions:
Theravada Buddhism - The believe is that only monks can attain enlightenment and should be supported by lay people.
Mahayana Buddhism - The believe is that enlightenment is reserved for laity and monks.
Vayarayana Buddhism – All people can attain enlightenment with use of meditation and chanting.
About The Author: Olivia was born with natural abilities to hear, see and feel messages from the other side, gifts that were discovered by communicating with the dead in her family's funeral parlor! She's quite well-known and respected by colleagues and clients in her Nashville, TN community and has read for many famous musicians. An accomplished lady, she holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology and an Associates Degree in Metaphysical Sciences and Paranormal Studies. If you'd like to receive accurate and detailed answers from beyond the veil, you can contact Olivia at PsychicAccess.com.
Leave a Reply