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Buddhism In The West Essay

1127 words - 5 pages

Albert Einstein once said, “the religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal god, avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all natural and spiritual and a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.”# Many great minds like Albert Einstein have converted or become Buddhists. Many people from the west are turning their attention towards Buddhism because of the Buddha’s simple way to life and the lack of worship or prayer to a divine being.
Buddhism has a fascinating history. Like most religions, you must first understand the background to practice the religion. Buddhism started with a young prince named Siddhartha Gautama, he was born in Nepal#. He was born around 563 B.C.# as a young prince his father suddhodana (ruler of the sakya) kept him from the pain and suffering that can occur in life. All of his childhood life he was kept inside palace walls. Until one day he joined a parade to the city. He wondered of into the city streets and got lost. He found himself in an old village. In this village he saw everything his father had kept him from, he saw pain, suffering, old age and death. After this experience he decided to leave his life of riches and high living. At the age of 29 he left his newborn son and wife. He ventured off into the jungle and began to meditate with a group of extremists, who did nothing but meditate. He stayed there for six long years. One day he realized that he was looking in the wrong direction to end suffering. So he decided to go the middle way. He went all over teaching his philosophy of the middle way. At the age of 35 he reached

enlightment, or elimination of suffering, thus earning the name Buddha#. In 483 B.C. at the age of 80 Siddhartha Gautama (“The Buddha”) died of food poisoning#.
The Buddha went in between to extremes to find the middle way. The middle way consists of the four noble truths and the eightfold path. The four noble truths are the most commonly shared belief between Buddhists. They are ways to eliminate desire, which will eliminate suffering. Number one says, “ life consists of suffering.” Number two says, “everything is impermanent and ever-changing, we suffer because we desire those things that are impermanent.” Number three says, “ the way to liberate oneself from suffering is to eliminate desire.” And number four says, “ desire can be eliminated by following the eightfold path.” The eightfold path is a group of statements, they are not sequential things, they are just attitudes and actions. The eightfold path consists of right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right live hood, right effort, right awareness and right meditation. By following these attitudes and actions, you can achieve a life without suffering#.
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