Thursday, May 22, 2008

Buddhism

Buddhist Altar

My Malas from Kathmandu


If you would like to make Buddhism your religion, there are some things to consider. First one should be familiar with the basic tenants of Buddhism such as karma, rebirth, Four Noble Truths, The Eight Fold Path and the Five Precepts. It is not necessary to accept all of these concepts at the start, but one should be willing consider them. The Buddha never asked his disciples to believe something because he said it. He said that one needed to prove it true for yourself.

Simply practicing Chan meditation and adopting some of Buddha's philosophy does not make a person a Buddhist. Of course these practices may be used to further or enhance any religious practice from Christianity and Judaism to Hinduism.

To formally make Buddhism your religion involves three steps. The first is to take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma (the doctrines and truths taught by the Buddha) and Sangha (the community of Buddhist including both lay and ordained members). The second is to receive the Five Precepts:

1. Not to take any life or harm others.

2. Not to take that which is not given.

3. Do not engage in improper sexual conduct. Harms families and disturbs the order of society.

4. Do not make false statements as these can injure others.

5. Do not use intoxicants. These can lead to braking of the Precepts.

In receiving the Precepts we are making a commitment to do our very best to keep them. It does not mean that we will never break them. The essence or building blocks of Buddhist practice are morality, meditation & wisdom. These three are mutually interdependent. As our practice deepens braking of the Precepts will become less frequent.

The administering of the Precepts and taking refuge (lay ordination) is normally done in a ceremony conducted by a monk or priest. In the third step the ordainee is given a Buddhist name, a ordination certificate and meditation beads.

Finally Buddhism is a religion of practice so it is important to make an effort daily to practice, be it meditation or reciting the Buddha's name. In Buddhism liberation does not come from the other but from the self.

4 comments:

birdtweets said...

you have such engaging posts yoli. be it a lovely photo, a beautiful poem or ideas that make me get all quiet and wonder about choices and possibility.
your friend, bird tweet robin from down the road

Qiuqiu's parents said...

I love the principles of Buddhism. I think I know more now about Buddhism than I have ever known, thanks to all the reading on China and its philosophies and religions that I've been doing. My grandfather was a follower, but you knew that, I think.

Gillian said...

Yoli
I too, am drawn to the Buddhist faith. I have no one faith in particular, always just dabbling. But I do try to live a good respectable life, with reverence for human and other life, respect for others, and the earth. Your decision is a wise one, if you choose to follow the path. I hope you find what you are looking for. xoxo

Lubna said...

Hi Yoli
Your blog as always is beautiful. However, one complaint, have weak eyesight, thus finding it difficult to read the font in the colour combination it is now in. Have you changed it recently.
Best