What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a path of teaching and practice. Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom. The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow the path of spiritual development. Ultimately, the Buddhist path culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood.
Who was the Buddha?
The word Buddha is a title not a name. It means one who is awake' in the sense of having woken up to reality'. The title was first given to a man called Siddharta Guatemala, who lived about 2,500 years ago in Northern India. When he was 35 he found Enlightenment whist in profound mediation, after searching for years. In the next 45 years of his life he spent it traveling through India teaching his way of life. His teaching is known as Buddha-dharma.
Traveling from place to place, the Buddha gained many disciples. They also taught of the enlightment, and the chain has continued on to this present day.
The Buddha was not a God, and he made no claim to divinity. There is no concept of a creator in Buddhism. He was a human being who, thought tremendous efforts, transformed himself.
The state of Enlightenment which he reached has three main facets. It is a state of wisdom, of insight into the true nature of things. It is also a source or boundless compassion, manifesting itself in activity for the benefit of all beings. and it the total liberation of all the energies of the mind and the body so they are at the service of the fully conscious mind.
What Happened After the Buddha's Death?
Buddhism died out in India a thousand years ago, though it has recently revived. In the last century Buddhism has emphatically arrived in the West and up to one million westerners have become Buddhists.
What Does Buddhism Teach?
Buddhism sees life as being in process of...
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