Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy, but rather a way of
life. This does not imply that Buddhism is nothing more than an ethical code:
it is a way of moral, spiritual and intellectual training leading to complete
freedom of the mind. (DeSilva, 1991:p 5). Of the many Buddhist sects, Zen
Buddhism places particular emphasis on living the right' life, and does not
revolve around rite and ritual. Buddhism outlines the three characteristics of
existence, which aids one in achieving enlightenment. Impermanence,
selflessness, and dissatisfaction are concepts that are easily understood on an
intellectual level, but to apply these concepts in one's life is challenging.
Impermanence is concerned with the thought that nothing remains static, and
change is to be expected. Selflessness holds that there is no immortal soul or
external Self that exists in each individual; (Fadiman & Frager,1994:p 545)
selflessness is closely connected with impermanence. Dissatisfaction is a
larger concept entir ely- it involves the acknowledgment that suffering exists.
The world is founded on suffering, (DeSilva, 1991:p 21) and once anything
becomes a problem there is bound to be suffering, unsatisfactoriness, or
conflict- conflict between our desires and the state of reality.
Dissatisfaction is the most difficult characteristic of existence to apply to
one's life, as it involves not only the acceptance of this state, but also
outlines one on how to treat and cure this state.
The notion that the world is an ever-changing environment on all levels
of existence is not a radical idea. In fact, those that have not yet accepted
change as a natural state of nature is denying the reality of life. A being and
the empirical world are both constantly changing. They come into being and pass
away. All is in a whirl, nothing escapes this inexorable unceasing change, and
because of this transient nature nothing is really pleasant.... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Impermanence, Selflessness, and Dissatisfaction. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Impermanence-Selflessness-Dissatisfaction-2991.html
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