Buddhism Research Paper

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Grace Greenspon
Ms. Skalkottas
English 3-4 CP
October 13, 2011

Buddhism

The main focus of Buddhism is that the faith centers on correct understanding of human nature and ultimate reality, The Buddha was also called the Enlightened One, he taught that the way to eliminate suffering begins with understanding the true nature of the world. He rejected speculation about such matters as God, the nature of the universe, and the afyterlife, urging his folloers to focus instead on the Four Noble Truths by which they can free themselves from suffering. “We do not believe that this world is created and ruled by God.” The disbelief in God does not make Buddhism an atheistic religion. The Buddha rejected the concept of the atman, or soul. In Buddhism, the purpose of life is to end suffering, the Buddha taught that Humans suffer because we continually strive after things that do not give lasting happiness. The Buddha said of death, “Life is a journey. Death is a return to earth…” (“Buddhist Beliefs”)

The word Buddhism comes from ‘budhi’, ‘to awaken.’ Its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened, or enlightened, at the age of 35. Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or ‘way of life’, it is a philosophy because philosophy means love of wisdom and the Buddhist path can be summed up as to lead a moral life, to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and to develop wisdom and understanding. Buddhism explains a purpose of life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, an dit provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness. Buddhism gives answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies, it also provides a deep understanding of the human mind. Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini in 563 BC. When he was 29 he realized that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day searching to find the key to human happiness. After six years of stuffy and meditation he finally found ‘the middle path’ and was enlightened, he then spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism called Dhamma, or Truth, until he died at the age of 80. Buddha was not a God and he didn’t claim to be a God, he thought of himself as a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experiences. Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favors. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves, bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching. Buddhist teachings say that wealth does not guarantee happiness and that wealth is impermanent. The people of every country suffer whether rich or poor, but those who understand Buddhist teachings can find true happiness. Buddhism is a belief system that is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions, it agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. The core of Buddhism fits into the definition of scientific because the Four Noble Truths can be tested and proven by anyone. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith. The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path can sum up the basic concepts in Buddhism. The first truth is that life is suffering, life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness, frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment, and anger. Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy. The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion, we will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectations, getting what you want does not...
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