Core teachings of the Buddha

ในห้อง 'Buddhism' ตั้งกระทู้โดย Namushakamunibutsu, 30 มกราคม 2010.

  1. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    Buddha's paradox:
    To become aware of suffering is to find freedom from it.


    The teachings of Buddha provide a path to physical, psychological and spiritual health. This methodical approach shows everyone the skills to overcome suffering and achieve true happiness, right here, right now.

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    Teaching : Introduction

    "Do not go by revelation; do not go by tradition; do not go by hearsay; do not go on the authority of sacred texts; do not go on the grounds of pure logics; do not go by a view that seems rational; do not go along with a considered view because you agree with it; do not go along on the ground that the person is competent; do not go along because the recluse is our teacher."

    "Come and see for yourself - Ehipassiko"
    "Just as gold is tested in fire for purity, so too, test my words in the fire of your own spiritual experience."
    - Buddha Shakyamuni

    This section offers a condensed summary of many key Buddhist teachings. Buddhism is so rich, with so many different approaches to the same purpose - knowing for yourself - that it is easy to lose your place at times. This section reviews how the teachings and practices reinforce and support each other.

    While reading about these ideas, remember that each concept is best understood through personal experience in meditation. Written and verbal descriptions are just approximations that act as guides. Consider how a menu guides you toward dinner choices, but the actual experience comes from eating the meal; equally, in Buddhism true understanding comes from the work of meditation.
     
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  2. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    The Four Noble Truths

    This was Buddha's first teaching after reaching enlightenment. In many teaching traditions, the Four Noble Truths are the entry point for approaching Buddhism. The Four Noble Truths constitute a complete equation inside of which one can find all the ideas of Buddhist teaching. The equation works as follows: 1) recognize the problem (suffering); 2) locate its root cause (mental clinging); 3) know that the problem can be solved; and 4) prescribe a solution (the noble eightfold path).

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    The First Noble Truth: Recognize Suffering

    In Buddhist teaching, suffering has a much broader meaning than what we would typically associate with the English language word. The original Sanskrit word, dukkha, describes an underlying sense of unease: something is askew, we can't quite place our finger on it, but there is an irritation or chafing that runs through the fabric of all of our experience. In the broadest terms it relates to the knowledge that we will all die in the end - a core human fear. But the more introspective we become, we start to see that the chafing happens at all levels of our existence.
    Buddhism categorizes this experience into three kinds of dukkha: suffering from suffering, suffering from change, and all-pervasive suffering.

    Suffering from Suffering: This is the most obvious, and is what we normally think of as suffering. It is something that is painful when here but pleasant when going away. Examples include hunger, thirst, and sickness; painful things by nature. Or it can be an argument such as a family quarrel after losing a job.

    Suffering from Change: This is related to a sense of instability and unreliability: what goes up must come down. It is sometimes harder to locate this suffering because it relates to our reaction when things around us change in opposition to our desire. Relationships grow apart. Our favorite clothes wear out. A new boss takes over. We get old but want to look and feel young.
    Change is a constant in our lives, but we would rather have everything stay the same. When it doesn't we often experience the distress of irritation, anger, fear or loss.

    All-Pervasive Suffering: At its most profound, suffering is a condition that exists because of how we perceive ourselves in relation to the world. Taken from this view, our entire worldly experience is a definition of suffering that we cannot even see.
    This sounds deeply pessimistic and is often confusing (or unattractive) for those in the West who are first encountering Buddhism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Having understood the nature of our experience at its most subtle allows us to work with it, to mold it, to change our perception through the wisdom of insight. It is like a dormant deadly disease; diagnosing it at an early stage is the beginning of its cure.
    All-pervasive suffering is the aspect of existence that Buddhism ultimately strives to illuminate. The Second Noble Truth uncovers the root cause of this and all other aspects of dukkha.

    The Second Noble Truth: The Root Cause is Mental Clinging or Desire

    Have you ever noticed how pain intensifies when we fight it? We don't want to be in pain, but the more we concentrate on it - and the madder we get at our circumstances - the more magnified it becomes.
    This is a simple explanation of the Second Noble Truth: We cling to our desire for something other than what is happening at this present moment. The tighter we hold on, the more profound the discomfort. Even when we are happy, we wish the joy would last, when we know it must be superceded by other emotions in the future.
    This 'pushing back' against the bad or 'pulling toward' the good stems from our very concept of self. The Second Noble Truth asks us to look closely at ourselves. The ego is a powerful mechanism. Our experience of ourselves as an individual, separate entity is well practiced. And as the separate entity we perceive ourselves to be, we are always positioning for the most pleasurable and secure destination.
    Our concept of self, and our relationship to all our experiences originate in the mind. Dukkha or suffering therefore resides not in our experience itself, but our relationship to it - to how we perceive ourselves in our circumstances and more fundamentally how we perceive ourselves as beings.
    'tis the self by which we suffer. - Shakespeare

    The Third Noble Truth: Suffering can be Overcome

    If the root cause of suffering resides in our mind, then the way out of suffering will be found by looking deeply at the true nature of mind. When you realize the true nature of mind, you achieve liberation from suffering.
    It is important to note the word used for liberation: Enlightenment. It means understanding, wisdom, clarity and compassion. It means that we have recognized and experienced the way things truly are beyond the imprisoning effects of self-absorption, beyond the ego filtered perspective of our typical daily interactions.
    As we move toward this goal, suffering naturally subsides. Our relationship with experience shifts, allowing us to let go of our need to protect our sense of self. Instead of clinging to the hoped for results of our actions we begin to experience life as a fluid, interconnected whole.
    The Second and Third Noble Truths show us the realities at the heart of existence. They are defined in Buddhism as Dependent Origination, Karma, Impermanence, Selflessness and Emptiness. Once we experience these realities, we understand the true nature of mind, and we achieve Enlightenment.

    The Fourth Noble Truth: The Prescription for the Pain: a Path to Liberation from Suffering

    As a summary it seems simple, but as you examine each point of the Noble Eightfold Path the rich diversity of Buddhist teachings unfold. From the simple structure of eight prescriptives, the Fourth Noble Truth becomes a doorway into all Buddhist thinking and daily practice. Consistent practice in each of the eight categories establishes the conditions in which to achieve Enlightenment and it teaches the methods to get there.
    <!-- the eight-fold noble path --> There are three primary groups into which the eight are arranged; wisdom, morality and practice. They embody the thousands of teachings within Buddhism. Below is a brief outline of each category:
    Wisdom: Pursue an understanding of the 'the way things truly are.'

    1. Right View: Experience reality as it truly is. Use as your guide the key tenets of Buddhist teaching such as dependent origination, karma, impermanence, selflessness, and emptiness.
    2. Right Intention: Always have as your intention to be present, right now, in this moment. If you practice something over and over again, eventually it becomes automatic.
    In the end, wisdom means both the path toward understanding and the final goal of enlightenment itself in which your views and intentions are unencumbered, unquestioning and clear. This is the point in which wisdom does not require effort because it is drawn wholly from your own experience.
    Morality: Live in a way that supports and enhances your pursuit of wisdom. Do not choose actions that harm others, engender anger or hatred, or reinforce an ego-centric relationship to the world.

    1. Right Speech: Do not swear, lie (actively or by omission), spread gossip or speak in ways that would harm others. Listen for the truth and speak the truth or don't speak at all.
    2. Right Action: Do not do to others what you would not have done to you. Do that which promotes harmony and unity, not divisiveness and separation among people.
    3. Right Livelihood: Choose a living which does not harm yourself or others. Harm can be physical, psychological or spiritual.
    In the end, morality is a matter of seeing what will benefit you and others as situations arise in your life. As wisdom and awareness increase through practice, beneficial choices become easier to see in the midst of the chaos of daily life.
    Practice: Results come from hard work and consistency. Practice requires a balance of positive energy, focus and understanding in order to achieve results. The last three points are those from which all Buddhist practice methods derive.

    1. Right Effort: Put your energies toward being present, during meditation and in daily life
    2. Right Mindfulness: Maintain an awareness of your body, mind, emotions and all sensory input. Keep your awareness in the present, at every moment.
    3. Right Meditation: Meditation is the medium through which the Wisdom and Practice groups are most effectively explored and developed. Follow the instruction of a skilled teacher who is able to educate in the correct methods.
    All eight points are equal in importance, supporting and reinforcing the other. For instance, the right meditation practice will help open up your understanding of right views. At the same time, the right view will help remind you of the goal toward wisdom and support the effort you put into the three aspects of practice above.
    The strength of the Noble Eightfold Path is its unity as a single, interlocking approach to a life of seeing the truth.
     
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  3. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    Primary Philosophical Points in Buddhism

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    As stated at the beginning of this section, there are many approaches to teaching Buddhism. A single point from the Noble Eightfold Path (i.e. right view) or grouping (i.e. practice) can be taken as the entrance point for teaching. As you peel back any one of the Four Noble Truths you encounter the key views of Buddhist philosophy.

    The Tibetan Vajrayana tradition spends less time expounding on the Four Noble Truths, and dives right into a very direct exploration of the mind through meditation practice and Buddhist philosophy. As an example, Vajrayana talks a great deal about blissful emptiness and the true nature of mind. While these ideas are not to be found anywhere in the typical summaries of Buddhism, they are in fact the more subtle, nuanced realizations that lie at the heart of the Wisdom and Practice categories of the Noble Eightfold Path. In fact, experiencing emptiness and the true nature of mind are the end goal - realization, enlightenment.

    The Vajrayana path puts substantial emphasis on the quality of the teacher and his skill at working with his students. Teachers who have achieved very high levels of mental awareness are able to work with precision to accelerate a student's practice. The practices in Vajrayana, as described in the section 'History of the Teachings', have been organized to guide those who have great trust in themselves and others to reach enlightenment quickly.

    For this reason, Vajrayana teachings appear to dive right into the heart of the matter: exploring the nature of mind, immediately, directly. This means that many of the teachings in Vajrayana expect a level of awareness of Buddhist philosophy.

    The following is a summary of the key aspects of Buddhist ideas, and how you may encounter them when you are learning with a Vajrayana teacher.
    Everything is Mind - or how we view things. But not everyone can grasp the fullness of this truth, so the teachings talk about realities on two levels: relative and absolute.
     
  4. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    Relative Reality: the world as we typically experience it. This is the reality of our day-to-day life. By examining some of the key aspects of this experience, we can gain a window into the absolute realities of emptiness and selflessness.

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    Dependent Origination and Impermanence

    Interdependence is one of the core realities of life. Look around; there is no one thing that exists wholly independent of anything else. Everything about our lives arises in context - supported and affected by external factors.

    In Buddhism this idea is expressed as conditioned reality. That is, everything depends upon the right conditions to occur. We see a chair because of light. Sadness occurs because of a loss, or the memory of a loss. A flower grows because of the sun, earth and water. And so on. What we normally experience is always a duality of cause and effect, contrast and distinction.

    The corollary to interdependence is Impermanence. All things change; nothing is permanent. Everything is in a constant state of movement. We watch things grow and die in nature every day. Even some of the most resilient things like metals eventually break down. Western science has revealed through quantum physics that not only are the smallest molecules of matter in constant motion, but that they in fact can change their nature from "particle to wave" depending on the circumstance.

    Understanding that all things exist in context, not as permanent entities, is a key to awareness - clearly seeing the way things truly are (dharma).

    In order to make sense of the world around us, our mind assembles a structure of concepts; we label and explain everything. We make distinctions, see separations, and experience a world apart from ourselves. We forget that each concept, each thought arises as a result of a set of conditions. And our experience of those conditions may differ from the experience of others based on the filter we use for interpreting those conditions - the emotional, physical and psychological background we bring to the situation.

    That is the heart of Dependent Origination: our experience of reality is dependent on other factors just as everything around us depends on other factors to come into being. And it is all happening in a state of constant movement, change and Impermanence. Ultimately, dependent origination describes the progression that fuels the endless cycle of re-birth.

    Understanding this process allows a practitioner to start letting go, to experience reality as a fluid interdependent whole. We are able to see our thoughts and emotions as momentary, less solid, not representative of a solid truth or hard reality. This is a key understanding in order to be able to see the absolute realities of selflessness and emptiness.


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    Karma

    Karma is the law of cause and effect embedded in Dependent Origination.

    Karma, at its most basic, is our action and the result of that action. The choices we make with our body, speech and mind affect us and others. The results can sometimes be seen, yet we are often unaware of them. Under the right conditions, a butterfly flapping its wings in the Pacific can cause a hurricane in the Atlantic. Equally, our actions have consequences far beyond our imagining - consequences both for ourselves and others.

    Karma is a universal law - a truth of existence. Buddhism places specific emphasis on karma because every action, conscious or unconscious, and its result leaves an imprint on the mind - a sort of forward momentum that influences all successive life events.

    Being aware of the law of karma helps reinforce our practice. The teachings and their guidelines support an individual in creating the right conditions for enlightenment. And along the way, the teachings help modify our actions (karma) in order to promote happiness for ourselves and others.

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    Love and Compassion

    Love and Compassion are not philosophical realities. Rather they are the natural outcome of our understanding of Karma and Dependent Origination. Once we see that everything and everyone are linked, our attitude naturally shifts away from aggressiveness, opposition and egocentric behavior.

    On a broader level, Compassion also contributes to one's spiritual development. For this reason it is emphasized in many Buddhist teachings.
     
  5. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    Absolute Reality: the underlying truth as we come to experience it through practice

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    Selflessness

    Almost everyone, when confronted with the idea of Dependent Origination and Impermanence, still feels they have a personal 'essence' which is unchanging. In Buddhist teaching this sense of personal self is interchangeably called Ego.

    In fact, the self does not exist as we experience it and relate to it. It too is impermanent, in a constant state of formation, and continually dependent on other factors.

    What we experience as self is actually just input from our five senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell), and the way the mind responds to this input with perception, feeling, and concept/thought. The central organizer of all of this activity is our Consciousness. In Buddhist terminology these are called the Five Aggregates.

    These five factors (senses, perception, feeling, concept/thought, and consciousness) combine in a continuous mental ballet to create a sense of continuity - a story and our place in it - that feels like a solid thing in relation to the rest of the world.

    Metaphors are often helpful in Buddhist explanations. The mental process that we think of as our reality is like a torch being twirled around so quickly that the light looks like a solid ring of fire. In fact, the circle of fire only has the appearance of solidity.

    In the same way, our apparent reality (the interplay of the aggregates) is made of individual moments, but they move so fast that they seem to make a continuous, solid reality and self / ego. There is, however, never any actual continuity; no single entity that passes from moment to moment. This is Selflessness.

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    Emptiness

    As selflessness is true for ourselves, then the corollary for all existence is emptiness. Emptiness is not nothingness. It is the ultimate description of the true relationship between our mind and our outer and inner experience, and the ultimate insight of 'the way things truly are.'

    Emptiness is the true reality. Understanding of nature of mind - clear, luminous and free from fear or hope - leads directly to the realization of Emptiness. It is seeing beyond the mental construct we call self / ego and experiencing, with absolute clarity, mind without mental filters. It is seeing from the inside out; knowing the true nature of mind you are able to look back through the construct we think of as self, and wholly understand and experience Selflessness and Impermanence, both for yourself and all other things.

    The result is a transformational relationship with the world. Emptiness is the way things are. It is also an understanding and a way of relating to the world which benefits all living things.

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    Peace

    Peace is the outcome of understanding the true nature of mind. When Buddha taught how to achieve happiness and avoid suffering, he was pointing to the freedom from fear and clinging that comes from having arrived at this point.

    Everyone can achieve peace - and they can achieve it from within, here and now.
     
  6. Namushakamunibutsu

    Namushakamunibutsu เป็นที่รู้จักกันดี

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    For more about Dharma >>> Click Here!!!


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    In a desert mere water is so precious it is safeguarded in a container; far truer in this world a precious meditation lineage must be preserved at a hermitage.

    - Trungram Gyaltrul Rinpoche

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    Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

    Learn about Meditation Works

     
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  7. djmixmun

    djmixmun Active Member

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