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Buddhism - Week 2 Notes

by: Brianna

Buddhism - Week 2 Notes Religion 1101


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About this Document

Detailed version for the notes from the textbook on Buddhism
Intro to Religion
Dr. Tenzin
Study Guide
Religious Studies, into to world religions, religions, religion, world religions, Buddhism, Buddha
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Brianna on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Religion 1101 at Georgia Highlands College taught by Dr. Tenzin in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 57 views.

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Date Created: 09/13/16
Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics Beginnings of Buddhism  Buddhism has spread though Asia, but it all started in India  People began experimenting with meditation which led to new philosophy and the Buddha was born Life of Buddha  Born 563 BCE originally known as Siddhartha  He was the son of a wealthy chief who tried to protect him from the world  Claimed to be born from miraculous conception  Siddhartha left the royal grounds (after being locked inside all his life) and was shocked by what he saw. o This is known as the 4 passing sights  He saw an old man, a sick man, a corpse being dragged away, and a sannyasin  Shocked by what he saw, at age 29 he renounced his life of wealth to become a wandering ascetic, a monk  He adopted a path of moderation, or a middle way between self- indulgence and asceticism (abstinence from worldly pleasures)  He went to the Bodhi tree and there he entered into a deep meditation and reached an understanding called his Awakening, or Bodhi, and the highest degree of divine consciousness, nirvana o Nirvana is the release of suffering and the ultimate goal for Buddhists  In his meditation he earned the name Buddha aka “The Awakened One” Basic Teachings of Buddhism  What regarded as basic Buddhism are the three jewels (Triratna) o Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha  Buddha is thought of as the ideal human being that others should imitate  He is the model of self-control  Dharma is the sum total of Buddhist teachings about how to view the world and live properly  Sangha is the community if monks and nuns  Buddha concentrated on two important questions about existence… 1. How can we minimize suffering – our own and others? 2. How can we attain inner peace? Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics Three Marks of Reality  Reality manifests three characteristics known as the three marks of reality o Anitya – change  nothing is fixed, everything is constantly changing o Anatman – no permanent identity  Buddha urged people to abandon egotism and denied the existence of permanent identity  For people, this is called “no permanent soul” or “no self” o Dukkha – suffering  Also called dissatisfaction  Life can never be fully satisfying because of inescapable change Four Noble Truths  The four noble truths are a linked chain of truths about life 1. To live is to suffer – truth of suffering  Living causes inevitable pain and suffering 2. Suffering comes from desire – cause of suffering  Buddha saw that suffering comes from wanting what we can’t have and never being satisfied with what we currently have 3. To end suffering, end desire – cessation of suffering  Recommended to peacefully accept whatever happens  Aim less for happiness and more for inner peace 4. Release from suffering can be attained from noble eightfold path – cause of cessation  The goal of Buddhism is nirvana, the release of suffering, which can be achieved through the noble eightfold path Noble Eightfold Path  The eight steps of the noble eightfold path will lead to liberation of suffering  These steps are meant to be done all at the same time instead of in sequence 1. Right understanding (view)  Recognize the impermanence of life, desire, and suffering 2. Right intention  Thoughts and motives are pure and not tainted with emotions and desires Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics 3. Right speech  I will speak honestly and kind 4. Right action  My actions do not hurt others and will not bring harm 5. Right work (livelihood)  My job does not cause harm to others 6. Right effort  With moderation, I strive to improve 7. Right meditation (mindfulness)  I use disciplines of meditation to contemplate the nature of reality 8. Right contemplation (concentration)  I cultivate states of blissful inner peace Ahisma  “do not harm”  Ahisma discourages causing pain to anything  This is hard to achieve, but a person must do everything possible to avoid causing suffering The Soul and Karma  Buddha rejected the idea of a soul, but believes in rebirth  Parts of a person’s personality, instead of their soul, comes together to be reborn  Karma affects the elements in a person’s personality so it can be reborn in the end Nirvana  The world of change is called samsara, but the release of this is called nirvana  Nirvana is associated with a psychological state of peace and joy  Once nirvana is reached rebirth is finished Early Development of Buddhism  Ashoka was a king that wanted to expand his ruling through India o In a certain battle he witnessed something so horrific he converted to a life of nonviolence and took use of Buddhist values o He wanted to spread nonviolence throughout India so he built pillars inscribed with Buddhist principles Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics  In response to several disagreements over Buddhist teachings, many Buddhist schools arose – Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana Theravada Buddhism  The name Theravada came from wanting to pass on Buddhist teachings unchanged o It means “the way of the elders”  The heart of Theravada Buddhism is a community of monks  They do not believe laypeople (non-ordained member of a church) can reach nirvana – the believe the ideal arhat “perfect being” (a person with detached wisdom and unworldly living)  It spread from India to Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos Theravada Teachings  The Theravada collection of teachings is the Pali Canon aka Tripitaka meaning “three baskets”  The first collection is Vinaya Pitaka o It outlines the rules of monastic life  The second collection is Sutra Pitaka o It lists Buddhist sayings in sermons or dialogues  The third collection is Abhidharma Pitaka meaning “the works that go beyond elementary teachings” o It systemized the doctrine in sutras Theravada Art and Architecture  Before artists used images to represent Buddha they used symbols – one symbol is an eight-spoked wheel o The rim represents mindfulness o The hub – moral discipline o The eight spokes – eightfold path  Stupas are large mounds for relics and meditation that formed around remains of monks and important Buddhist sights Mahayana Buddhism  Translated to “big vehicle”  It tends to fit everyone’s religious needs New Ideals: Compassion and Bodhisattva  Wisdom remained and important goal, but compassion became a central teaching  The term for compassion is Karuna, meaning “empathy” or “kindness” Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics  The ideal of Mahayana is Bodhisattva which is a person of deep compassion “enlightenment being” o Because Bodhisattva’s embody compassion they typically refuse to reach nirvana o Some take a “bodhisattva vow” to be constantly reborn until all are enlightened  Mahayana recognizes that people differ and find themselves at different stages of spiritual development Mahayana Thought and Worldview  Buddha nature can express itself in three ways, called trikaya or trikaya doctrine  The historical Buddha came to be considered a manifestation of divine reality o this is called Dharmakaya “the cosmic body”  the cosmic Buddha nature permeates all things even though it is invisible  Siddhartha Gautama’s (Buddha) physical body is called Nirmanakay “transformation body”  Both branches of Buddhism believe another historical Buddha, Maitreya will come to earth in the future  Cosmic Buddha nature has also taken bodily shape in supernatural Buddhas that live in constant happiness in the heavens o They are sambhogakaya “perfect bliss body”  Shunyata “emptiness” o One Mahayana doctrine asserts that all reality is shunyata o An outgrowth of basic Buddhist reality that everything is constantly shifting and changing Spread of Mahayana  Mahayana spread out of India to central Asia and China o It had virtues that greatly appealed to the Chinese  Buddhism and its literature moved into Korea o It was widely adopted because of its powers to protect the three kingdoms th  From Korea it moved to Japan in the 6 century o Zen Buddhism was highly accepted by the military  It was named after the 7 step of the noble eightfold, dhyana, and created a counterbalance toward simplification Intro to Religion – Buddhism (Chap. 4) Keywords – highlighted Bold – main topics  The enlightenment experience, kensho/satori, brings awareness of the unity of oneself and the universe  The most fundamental Zen technique is Zazen, or seated mediation  Another technique is Koan, it is a riddle that needs deep thought because it is not easy to answer Vajrayana Buddhism  Mahayana Buddhism developed practices and beliefs that are esoteric (hidden) o When these traditions entered Tibet (Indian Mahayana Buddhism mixed with Tibetan Shamanism) Vajrayana Buddhism formed  Vajrayana means “diamond vehicle”  Tantric Buddhism, got its named for its scriptures (tantras), challenged Tibetan religion o Tantras taught that the body and all its energies could be used to reach enlightenment o A Tibetan spiritual teacher is called a lama (guru) and is a title of honor to monks o A reform movement gave Tibet with political leadership  The executive head is called Dalai Lama  A debate is important in many Tibetan monasteries. In debates, monks learn to sharpen skills and their ability to teach others Ritual and the Arts  In Vajrayana a mantra, chanted sayings, is chanted to bring power and wisdom through repetition  Symbolic hand gestures, mudras, on statues of Buddha are common through all Buddhism  A Vajra is a metal object representing a bolt of lightning  A painting on a cloth is called a thangka which can have a large variety of different designs on it


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