background preloader

Zen Buddhism

Zen Buddhism
The essential element of Zen Buddhism is found in its name, for Zen means "meditation." Zen teaches that enlightenment is achieved through the profound realization that one is already an enlightened being. This awakening can happen gradually or in a flash of insight (as emphasized by the Soto and Rinzai schools, respectively). But in either case, it is the result of one's own efforts. Zen traces its origins to India, but it was formalized in China. Today, ink monochrome painting is the art form most closely associated with Zen Buddhism. Zen Buddhism's emphasis on simplicity and the importance of the natural world generated a distinctive aesthetic, which is expressed by the terms wabi and sabi. Related:  Buddhism

The Position of Women in Buddhism Today, when the role of Women in Society is an issue of worldwide interest it is opportune that we should pause to look at it from a Buddhist perspective. In the recent past, a number of books have been written on the changing status of women in Hindu and Islamic societies, but with regard to women in Buddhism, ever since the distinguished Pali scholar, Miss I.B. Horner, wrote her book on Women under Primitive Buddhism, as far back as 1930, very little interest has been taken in the subject. It seems, therefore, justified to raise again the question whether the position of women in Buddhist societies was better than that in non-Buddhist societies of Asia. Hugh Boyd who came as an envoy to the Kandyan Court in 1782 writes,[1] The Cingalese women exhibit a striking contrast to those of all other Oriental Nations in some of the most prominent and distinctive features of their character. Hence their evidence is all the more valuable.

Reincarnation - Buddhism and Reincarnation or Rebirth Would you be surprised if I told you that reincarnation is not a Buddhist teaching? If so, be surprised -- it isn't. "Reincarnation" normally is understood to be the transmigration of a soul to another body after death. There is no such teaching in Buddhism. One of the most fundamental doctrines of Buddhism is anatta, or anatman -- no soul or no self. However, Buddhists often speak of "rebirth." What Is the Self? The Buddha taught that what we think of as our "self" -- our ego, self-consciousness and personality -- is a creation of the skandhas. The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” This takes us to the Three Marks of Existence, in particular anicca, "impermanence." What Is Reborn? In his book What the Buddha Taught (1959), Theravada scholar Walpola Rahula asked, "When this physical body is no more capable of functioning, energies do not die with it, but continue to take some other shape or form, which we call another life. ... Karma and Rebirth

American Buddhism on the rise CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — That genial face has become familiar across the globe – almost as recognizable when it comes to religious leaders, perhaps, as Pope John Paul II. When in America, the Dalai Lama is a sought-after speaker, sharing his compassionate message and engaging aura well beyond the Buddhist community. After inaugurating a new Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education in Vancouver, B.C., the Tibetan leader this week begins a visit to several US cities for public talks, sessions with young peacemakers, scientists, university faculty, corporate executives, and a California women's conference. But he'll also sit down for teach-ins among the burgeoning American faithful. Buddhism is growing apace in the United States, and an identifiably American Buddhism is emerging. Though the religion born in India has been in the US since the 19th century, the number of adherents rose by 170 percent between 1990 and 2000, according to the American Religious Identity Survey.

The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering The essence of the Buddha's teaching can be summed up in two principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The first covers the side of doctrine, and the primary response it elicits is understanding; the second covers the side of discipline, in the broadest sense of that word, and the primary response it calls for is practice. In the structure of the teaching these two principles lock together into an indivisible unity called the dhamma-vinaya, the doctrine-and-discipline, or, in brief, the Dhamma. The internal unity of the Dhamma is guaranteed by the fact that the last of the Four Noble Truths, the truth of the way, is the Noble Eightfold Path, while the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, right view, is the understanding of the Four Noble Truths. Thus the two principles penetrate and include one another, the formula of the Four Noble Truths containing the Eightfold Path and the Noble Eightfold Path containing the Four Truths. — Bhikkhu Bodhi DN ....

What do Buddhists believe - Beliefs of Buddhism By Barbara O'Brien Updated April 30, 2015. Shortly after I began to study Buddhism, someone asked me "What do Buddhists believe?" I was taken aback by the question. Guiding Means Beginners to Buddhism are handed lists of doctrines -- the Four Noble Truths, the Five Skandhas, the Eightfold Path. What the historical Buddha taught was a method for understanding oneself and the world in a different way. The absolute truth of which Thich Nhat Hanh speaks cannot be contained in words and concepts. Many Boats, One River To say that doctrines and teachings shouldn't be accepted on blind faith doesn't mean they aren't important. And to say that Buddhism is not about believing things doesn't mean there are no Buddhist beliefs. To compound confusion further, throughout Asia one can find a kind of folk Buddhism in which the Buddha and other iconic characters from Buddhist literature are believed to be divine beings who can hear prayers and grant wishes. Read More

Nirvana Definition in Buddhism (What Is It?) Definition: Most schools of Buddhism explain Nirvana as a state of bliss or peace, and this state may be experienced in life, or it may be entered into at death. The word Nirvana means "to extinguish," such as extinguishing the flame of a candle. This "extinguishment" is not understood by Buddhists to mean annihilation, however. In the culture in which the historical Buddha lived and taught, it was understood that fire "burns" and becomes visible when it is attached to fuel, and it stops burning and becomes invisible when it is "released" from fuel. In his book Essence of the Heart Sutra, His Holiness the Dalai Lama defined Nirvana as the "state beyond sorrows," or a "state of freedom from cyclic existence." In Theravada Buddhism, Nirvana (spelled "Nibbana" in Pali) is understood to be an "unbinding" of the mind from defilements, in particular the Three Poisons, and the mental "effluents" of sensuality, views, becoming, and ignorance. death or only after death. Alternate Spellings: Nibbana

What is Theravada Buddhism? Theravada (pronounced — more or less — "terra-VAH-dah"), the "Doctrine of the Elders," is the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Tipitaka, or Pali canon, which scholars generally agree contains the earliest surviving record of the Buddha's teachings.[1] For many centuries, Theravada has been the predominant religion of continental Southeast Asia (Thailand, Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, and Laos) and Sri Lanka. Today Theravada Buddhists number well over 100 million worldwide.[2] In recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West. Many Buddhisms, One Dhamma-vinaya The Buddha — the "Awakened One" — called the religion he founded Dhamma-vinaya — "the doctrine and discipline." Pali: The Language of Theravada Buddhism The language of the Theravada canonical texts is Pali (lit., "text"), which is based on a dialect of Middle Indo-Aryan that was probably spoken in central India during the Buddha's time.[7] Ven. A Brief Summary of the Buddha's Teachings

Buddhism Basic Beliefs and Teachings By Barbara O'Brien Updated December 29, 2015. Here is a basic introduction to Buddhism. What Is Buddhism? Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived about 25 centuries ago in what is now Nepal and northern India. He came to be called "the Buddha," which means "awakened one," after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of life, death and existence. In the remaining years of his life, the Buddha traveled and taught. In the centuries following the Buddha's life, Buddhism spread throughout Asia to become one of the dominant religions of the continent. The most common estimate is 350 million, which makes Buddhism the fourth largest of the world's religions. Read More: The Life of the BuddhaRead More: What's a Buddha? How Is Buddhism Distinctive From Other Religions? Buddhism is so different from other religions that some people question whether it is a religion at all. Read More: Buddhism: Philosophy or Religion? Basic Teachings

Related: