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Buddhism Notes

by: Faith Giokas

Buddhism Notes REL 10200 4

Faith Giokas
GPA 3.5
Religions of the World
Professor Pizzuto-Pomaco

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About this Document

Key topics include; the life and legend of buddha, the Dharma, Branches of Buddhism, the Four Noble truths, the Noble Eightfold Path to liberation, the wheel of birth and death and the key terms fr...
Religions of the World
Professor Pizzuto-Pomaco
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Faith Giokas on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to REL 10200 4 at Rowan University taught by Professor Pizzuto-Pomaco in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Religions of the World in Religious Studies at Rowan University.

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Date Created: 10/22/15
Buddhism Introduction The Buddha preached another alternative to the ritualoriented Brahmanism of India The Buddha taught about earthly suffering and its cure Early Buddhism was different it held that liberation from suffering depends on our own efforts Taught that by understanding how we create suffering from ourselves we can become free The effort involved in having to take responsibility for our own happiness and our own liberation may seem daunting and unlikely to attract many followers life and legend of the Buddha The Buddha was apparently an historical gure 0 What we know about him is not documented in any way but is derived from stories passed down over time through generations of followers His proli c teachings were probably not collected in written from until several hundred years after his death 0 Apparently transmitted orally chanted from memory by monks groups of who were responsible for remembering speci c parts of the teachings The one who became the Buddha was reportedly born near what is today the border between India and Nepal Dharma the teaching and laws for conduct given by the Buddha o Became the center of a core of teachings that Buddha taught The four noble truths the noble eightfold path the three marks of existence and other guidelines for achieving liberation from suffering The Sangha the monastic order that developed from the Buddha s early disciples accepted people from all castes and levels of society Bhikshunis members of the order of nuns that the Buddha founded The Dharma Nontheistic religion 0 No personal god who creates the world or to whom prayers can be directed Does not focus on descriptions of an unseen reality the nature of the soul life after death or the origin of the universe 0 Nirvana or liberation the goal of spiritual effort the planks of the raft are insights into the truths of existence and teachings about the path to liberation The Four Noble Truths 1 Life inevitably involves suffering dissatisfaction and distress a Exsistence of dukkha suffering and dissatisfaction b We all experience grief unful lled desires sickness old age physical pain mental anguish and eventually death c Happiness does not last even our personal identity is impermanent d What we regard as Self is an everchanging bundle of eeting feelings sense impressions and ideas and candle being lit from another but no two moments are the same 2 Suffering is caused my craving rooted in ignorance a The origin of dukkha is craving and clinging to sensory pleasures to fame and fortune for things to stay as they are or for them to be different and attachment to things andideas b Craving leads too suffering because of ignorance we fail to understand the true constantly changing nature of the things we crave c We grasp at things and hold onto life as we want it to be rather tan seeing things as they are in a constant state of ux 3 Suffering will cease when craving ceases a Dukkha will cease when craving and clinging cease b illusion ends insight into the true nature of things dawn and nirvana is achieved c One lives happy and fully in the present moment free from selfcenteredness and full of compassion d Can serve others purely without thought of oneself 4 There is a way to realize this state the Noble Eightfold Path a To liberation craving and suffering can be extinguished by following the noble eightfold path a path of ethical conduct concentration and wisdom b Offers ways to purify the mind of af ictive emotions and avoid unwholesome actions c This path ultimately leads to the freedom of the cycle of life and rebirth and the peace of nirvana d 151 aspect right understanding i comprehending reality correctly through deep realization of the Four Noble truths ii Seeing through illusions such as the idea that wealth and possessions can bring happiness iii We learn to question old assumptions in the light of the Four Noble truths iv Everything we do and say is ultimately produced by the mind 1 If our mind is de led and uncontrolled suffering will follow us just as a chariot follows a horse 2 Our mind is puri ed and well trained then our actions will be whilesome and we will naturally experience happiness and well being 2nd aspect right thought or motivation i Helps us to uncover any af ictive emotions that affect our thinking such as sel sh desires or a tendency to hide our imperfections ii As we discover and purify mental de lements such as selfinterest our thinking becomes free from the limitations of self centerednessrelaxed clear and open 3 aspect right speech i Relinquish the propensity to lie gossip speak harshly or engage in divisive speech and instead use communication in the service of truth and harmony ii Speak to others and ourselves in a positive way 4th aspect right action i Begins with observing the ve basic precepts for ethical conduct to avoid destroying life stealing sexual misconduct lying and intoxicants 1 Besides these all actions should be based on clear understanding ii Unwholesome deeds are those done from motives of partially enmity stupidity and fear 5th aspect livelihood i making sure that ones way of making a living does not violate the ve precepts ii On e should choose a profession or line of work that does not cause harm to others or disrupt social harmony 6th aspect right effort i Means striving continually to eliminate the impurities of the mind and diligently cultivating wholesome actions of the body speech and mind ii Joyful effort is the antidote of laziness 7th aspect right mindfulness i Distinct feature of the Budhhist path ii The way to liberation requires discipline and the cultivation of awareness moment to moment 8th aspect right meditation i Applies mental discipline to quiet the mind and develop singpointed concentration ii Skillful means are therefore needed to understand and control its restless nature iii When the mind is completely stied it becomes a quiet pool in which its true nature of things is clearly affected The Wheel of Birth and Death 0 There is no eternal independently existing soul to be reborn Karma the action of body speech and mind 0 the impressions of our virtuous and nonvirtuous actions shape our experience moment by moment 0 When we die this process continues passing on the ame to a new life in a realm of existence that re ects our past karma 0 The wheel of birth and death operates primarily because of the 3 root af ictions o Attachement o Aversion o Delusion The opposites of these 3 af ictions o Nongreed generosity renunciation for others sake o Nonhate friendliness compassion patience o Nondelusion mental clarity and insight There are multiple possible states of existence including hell beings hungry ghosts animals humans and gods 0 Interpreted as psychologicametaphysica realities all these states of rebirth are imperfect and impermanent Samsara repeatedly experiencing birth aging suffering and death as a result of their actions and mental de lements o by purifying their minds of greed hatred ignorance and other delusions they are able to achieve nirvana or liberation from cyclic existence and suffering Nirvana Desirable state of mind 0 The only way to end the cycle of suffering is to end all craving and lead a life of free attachment that has no karmic consequences Arhantpai arhat or arahat a worthy one who has found nirvana in this life 0 when an arhant dies individuality disappears and the being enters the ultimate state of nirvana Branches of Buddhism 0 Theravada the path of mindfulness O 0 Study the early scriptures in Pali honor the life of renunciation and follow mindfulness meditation teachings Characteristics are move obvious among intellectuals and monastics Ordinary laypeople tend to be more devotional in their practices The Pall Canon 0 O O Pali Canon authoritative collection of writings This collection is also referred too as Tipitaka quotthe three basketsquot The three baskets are 3 collections of sacred writtings Rules of monastic discipline Dharma teachings Scholastic treatises The Triple Gem 0 O 0 those who follow the Theravada go to refugee in the Triple Gem Triple Gem the Buddha the enlightened one the Dharma the teachings he gave and the Sangha community to become a Buddhist a person goes for refuge in these three jewels by reciting the Pali formula Takes refuge in the Buddha by honoring him as a supreme teacher and inspiring model Taking refuge in Buddha is honoring the Buddha wisdom within each of us The Dharma Like a medicine that can cure our suffering but wont work unless we take it Described in pali canon as immediate timeless leading to calmness and known only through direct experience and person effort The Sangha Ultimately the community of realized beings on a conventional level The order of bhikkus and bhikkhunis who have renounced worldly life in order to follow preserve and share the Dharma The Buddha Established one of the worlds rst monastic orders Monks and nuns must shave their heads dress in simple robes own only a few basic material items eat no solid foods after noon practice celibacy and depend on the laity for their food clothing and medical supplies Monks offer spiritual guidance chanting blessings and preforming various social services including offering advice and education Key Terms anatman Pali anatta the principle that there is no eternal self anitya Pali anicca impermanence arhant Pali arhat or arahat a quotworthy onequot who has followed the Buddhas path to liberation Bhikshu A monk or nun who renounces worldliness for the sake of following the path of liberation and whose simple physical needs are met by lay supporters Bodhisattva A person who is dedicated to liberation others from suffering deity yoga Vajrayana meditation on a deity in order to develop his or herquaHUes dharma Pali Dhamma the teaching and laws for conduct given by the Buddha Dukkha Discomfort suffering frustration disharmony karma Pali kamma Actions the law of cause and effect Kensho A sudden experience of enlightened awareness Koan A question used by Zen teachers to boggle the students mind and thus liberate direct awareness Lama A high Vajrayana teacher Mahayana The quotGreat Vehiclequot the Buddhist school that stresses the altruistic wish to become perfectly awakened in order to free all living beings from suffering Nirvana Liberation from mental af ictions suffering and rebirth Pali Canon Ancient Buddhist scriptures written in Pali and considered authoritative Samsara Cyclic existence the continual round of birth death and rebirth Sangha The monastic community more broadly a Dharma community Stupa Monument containing Buddhist relics or images Sunyata The doctrine of voidness emptiness Theravada The remaining orthodox school of Buddhism which adheres to the earliest scriptures Triple Gem The Buddha the Dharma and the Sangha Vajrayana A branch of Mahayana Buddhism practiced in the Tibetan diaspora that incorporates deity yoga mantras mudras hand gestures and mandalas to achieve awakeneing Vipassana lnsight A meditation technique for developing insight into dukkha anicca and anatta zazen sitting meditation in Zen schools Zan A chinese and Japanese school emphasizing that all things have Buddhanature which can only be grasped when one escapes from intellectual mind


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