Mr. Grise / Period 2
April 14, 2014
Buddhism in a Nutshell
"Religion is any specific system of belief about deity, often involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life" (Windbell 1). Today, there are about 21 major religions practiced worldwide. Buddhism; a religion based off of Precept, Concentration, and Wisdom is practiced by over 376 million individuals and accelerating in growth around the world. The religion of Buddhism is an interesting and educational outlook on life. The lessons and values taught by this religion have affected peoples lives all over the world. The history of Buddhism, the traditions, and the religion today is what makes this religion so intriguing and unique.
The rise of Buddhism occurred around 25 centuries ago. Buddhism was founded approximately 600 B.C by Siddhartha Guatama (also known as the Buddha) in India (“What is Buddhism and What”). Buddhism is mostly practiced ...view middle of the document...
The Buddha himself also believed that people are responsible for their own lives and they must be responsible for their own actions. Buddhists live by the idea that there is a chance of consequences for every action, also known as Karma. Shortly after the Buddhas death a council of monks took leadership and passed on the Buddhas practices orally for over 200 years (Boeree 1). The overall goal of these teachings was to achieve Dhamma. Dhamma is the nature of what-is; the truth of what the Buddha taught (Budas 1).
The Buddhism traditions are one of the main foundations of this religion. A common tradition practiced by Buddhists is using images and symbols to represent their beliefs, such as the lotus flower. This flower represents purity and perfection, spirit, and most Buddhist art contains them. It is also traditional for most Buddhists to participate in the vegetarian lifestyle. This diet is encouraged to cause minimal harm to the environment. Another tradition practiced by believers is mediation. Meditation is important because it is used to find enlightenment and free the mind from all of its problems. According to philosophers when the Buddha first became ill he turned to meditation so he traveled to the:
Bodhi Tree in a secluded grove by the banks of the river Neranjara, and developed his mind in deep but luminous, tranquil meditation. Using the extraordinary clarity of such a mind with its sharp penetrative power generated by states of deep inner stillness, he turned his attention to investigate upon the hidden meanings of mind, universe and life. Thus he gained the supreme Enlightenment experience and from that time on he was known as the Buddha (“What is Buddhism”).
The deepest level of meditation was said to have cleared his mind and ended his suffering.
Even today Buddhism continues to thrive and grow within our society. Buddhism has been in existence for more than 25 centuries and does not plan to leave any time soon. Buddhists believe this religion is needed in our society to prevent war. Throughout history, Buddhism has not been involved in a single war (Budas 2). The selfless and caring lifestyle these people live promotes peace and unity.