Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Buddhism

From 2,500 years ago, there is an ancient story od a young man who was the son of a chieftan. The chieftan's wife had a dream of an elephant when she was pregnant and they suspected this would be a powerful child. The young man's name was Siddartha Gautama of Nepal and he was spoilt and protected. Whilst out one day, he saw a beggar by the side of the road and he realised that he knew nothing of the world and its harsh realities. He left home and travelled widely, asking questions and seeking truth, often starving himself in renunciation, without achieving anything. Eventually, he stopped his travels and seeking and sat under a tree, relaxed and meditated. In this way, he became 'enlightened' and free from the trappings of this world, in acceptance and contentment, and in finding a middle way between asceticicism and hedonism. He also created 8 challenges, called the Noble Eightfold Path, of Right Views, Intent, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort , Mindfulness and Concentration. Four Truths accompany these laws: that life involves suffering; that suffering is caused by our desires; that ending our desires will end suffering and the way to end desire is to practice the 8 challenges.In addition, there are 3 trainings of concentration, morality and wisdom.  The philosophy spread across South East Asia and now to the world. It offers a viable alternative to the many problems that beset human life, relationships and the problems that beset our planet which other religions ignore, much to the peril of those who will inherit a world of gross pollution and illhealth. For more information on Buddhism, visit: http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddha-teachingsurw6.pdf


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