The Principles of Buddhism
Buddhism is not a new philosophy or religion we don’t know exactly when
Buddhism did begin but we have a pretty good idea. Even when the
historical Buddha laid out the main principles of Buddhism, he borrowed
heavily on his own culture and on Hinduism. For this reason, there are many similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism.
is something known by everyone but it is also misunderstood. It might
not be what you expect it to be. Rebirth is a cycle we are all caught
in and its prison doors are called the five skandhas.
Likewise, Karma is explained here and it is another misunderstood subject. Most people think is a synonym of fate but that is not the case.
We will now explore the main points of Buddhism, the ones that are common to all the schools.
The teachings of the Buddha are known as the Dharma.
It consists of these principles:
1-The three Marks of Existence.
- unsatisfaction or suffering
A fourth principle is often attached to the Three Marks of Existence. It is that Nirvana is attained when we are at
peace with the three principles mentioned above.
2- The Four Noble Truths
- There is Suffering (or unsatisfaction)
- There is a cause of Suffering (or unsatisfaction)
- Suffering can stop
- The Noble Eightfold Path leads to the cessation of suffering.
3-The Noble Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path is often split in three divisions:
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
4-The Three Root Poisons of Suffering or The three Evils
5-The ten perfections (Pāramitā)
According to tradition, these 10 qualities are those of a bodhisattva (someone who is on the path of Buddhahood).
- Virtue, Morality
- Effort, diligence
- Loving-kindness, Compassion
In Buddhism, theory is not enough. To really aspire to an end of suffering, you need to practice meditation.
Meditation is not a simple exercise of sitting down and trying to think
about nothing. It would be more appropriate to call it Mindful-living
as it should be in our every actions. When we walk, eat, talk, sleep
and work, we should be aware at all time of what we are doing and all
the emotions passing through us. Doing so will help develop
insight,effort and serenity which are some of the 10 perfections.
you are interested in Buddhism but are afraid of all the theory
presented here, there are some key points that anyone can practice and
are a sure way to improve your life, and the one of others around you.
Like Christianity has it’s 10 commandments, so does Buddhism have it’s recommendations:
Do no-evil, cultivate good, purify your heart.
value compassion above all virtues as it encompass or is the source of
many other virtues. A compassionate person will not harm others, will
be generous to others, honest and it will lead to a sense of serenity.
So if you want to start living a better life, start by cultivating compassion in your heart and in your actions.
Start by being compassionate to yourself and when you see how good it
feels, spread it to the people around you. It will make you fell better
but most importantly, it will make others feel good too.
Another good thing to do is meditation, as we just discussed.
and ceremonies will become useful later on as they give you tools to
reduce your sense of ‘I’ and create a wider and more important sense of
It is good to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of any Buddhist is to attain Buddhahood and help others do the same.
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