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Buddhism Research Paper

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Buddhism Research Paper

Buddhism, perhaps one of the most popular religions,with approximately 560 million followers, is definitely one of the most misunderstood forms of religion in this day and age( Wikipedia 1). This religion is so complex with its many different beliefs, and yet once understood, can seem so simple. Many western-religious believers don't understand the complexities of this predominately Mideastern religion, simply because they don't take the time to learn the aspects of Buddhism, or because Buddhism's “beliefs are incompatible with Christian principles” of western society (Welsh 1). The main points of Buddhism are the Five Moral Concepts, Three Marks of Existence, Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, the two kinds of Karma, and monks. Buddhism also offers explanations on the subject of raising children. This religion has also been compared to many others and has been concluded to although cherish their Buddhist children, exclude them until adulthood. Buddhism is considered a kind of philosophy that is based on the teachings of the founder of Buddhism, the Buddha, or first known as Siddhartha Gautama. The Buddha was born in the year 566BC and raised in Nepal. He was a prince of a tribe known as Sakya. When the Buddha was twenty-nine years old he left his home and wandered the countryside in search of an answer for the suffering he was witnessing around him (Boeree 1).

During the month of May, sometime after he left his home, on a full moon day, Siddhartha became Buddha, The Enlightened One. Historians have documented that Siddhartha sat down under a tree and meditated until he understood the meaning of his journey. Enlightenment can be described as fully understanding the meaning of life and all it has to offer. The Buddha understood for the first time in his life what it meant to have a life of meaning and appreciation for what was around him. After his enlightenment, Buddha wandered the plains of northeast India for more than forty-five years. He taught the path or Dharma that he had realized at the moment of his enlightenment. Dharma is the name of the path the Buddha taught to his followers. It is the path of being enlightened themselves. By teaching the Dharma, he slowly developed a community of believers around him. He built an entire religion in his lifetime and he didn't even know it. In the year 486 BC, Buddha died at the age of eighty. His last words are said to be: “Impermanent are all created things; Strive on with awareness” (Boeree 1).

The beginning Buddhism starts with the Five Moral Concepts, or sometimes referred to as Precepts. These could be compared to the Ten Commandments of the Catholic religion. The Five Moral Concepts are: avoid killing, or harming any living thing; avoid stealing and taking what is not yours to take; avoid sexual irresponsibility; avoid lying or any hurtful speech and avoid alcohol and drugs which diminish clarity of consciousness. The Buddhist name for the Five Moral Concepts is the Pancha Shila. The Pancha Shila is primarily based on common sense and discipline mindfulness. You can follow the Five Moral Concepts by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is our ability to train our mind and develop it to its fullest potential of enlightenment. For example, by not drinking or taking in illegal drugs we do not cloud our consciousness and therefore our mindfulness will be free to make good decisions and pass correct judgments (Boeree 1-2).

Buddhist do not believe in gods or goddesses. They do not worship any kind of deity of any sort. Buddhist believe that most religions worship a god or goddess is to prove their own existence. Without the belief that the universe and everything in it was created by a superior being for a reason would give way to a meaningless life. The way that Buddhist prove their existence is by noticing and confirming the Three Marks of Existence. The Three Marks of Existence are impermanence, pain, and egolessness. Buddhist can validate impermanence by noticing that change is ever happening. Things are constantly coming into being, and ceasing to be. Nothing lasts forever. We often times get bored, and boredom is a result of dissatisfaction and to escape from it we divert ourselves from boredom by seeking new forms of pleasure. Unfortunately, sometimes our worry and fear of change or sudden change drives us to act irrationally. Pain is also obviously seen throughout the world. Buddhist view pain everyday in their world. The see the starving children and the laws of the tyranny that rules over them. They view certain aspects of life as helpless and out of human control. Egolessness is the idea, in Buddhist terms, that everyone commits the acts that they do out of self involvement (Gard 1-3). Buddha observed that the people around him only lived for themselves, in order for their being to survive. He saw this as corrupt and, and although natural, in need of changing.

In the Buddhist

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