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Buddhism The middle way of wisdom and compassion A 2500 year old tradition that began in India and spread and diversified throughout the Far East – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Buddhism

  • The middle way of wisdom and compassion
  • A 2500 year old tradition that began in India and
    spread and diversified throughout the Far East
  • A philosophy, religion, and spiritual practice
    followed by more than 300 million people
  • Based on the teachings of the Buddha

The Three Jewels of Buddhism
Buddha the teacher
Dharma the teachings
Sangha the community
Who was the Buddha?
  • Born Siddhartha Gautama of noble caste in
    India, 563 B.C.E.
  • Raised in great luxury to be a king
  • Empathy for the suffering of others at age 29
    rejected the life of luxury to seek enlightenment
    and the solution to suffering
  • Followed a strict ascetic lifestyle for six years
  • Rejected this extreme, sat in meditation,
    achieved Nirvana an awakening to the truth
    about life, becoming a Buddha, the Awakened
    Oneat the age of 35
  • Spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching
    others how to achieve the peace of mind he had

What did the Buddha teach?
  • The Four Noble Truths
  • To live is to suffer
  • The cause of suffering is self-centered desire
  • The solution is to eliminate desire and
    attachment, thus achieving Nirvana
  • The way to Nirvana is through the Eight-Fold

What is the Eight-Fold Path?
  • Wisdom
  • Right understanding
  • Right motivation
  • Moral discipline
  • Right speech
  • Right action
  • Right livelihood
  • Mental discipline
  • Right effort
  • Right mindfulness
  • Right meditation

How does Buddhism differ from Hinduism?
  • Buddhism rejects
  • Authority of the ancient Vedic texts
  • The Vedic caste system
  • The Vedic and Hindu deities
  • The efficacy of Vedic worship and ritual
  • The concept of Brahman

How does Buddhism differ from Jainism?
  • Buddhism rejects
  • The concept of Atman
  • The practice of strict asceticism and withdrawal
    from the world (preferring the middle way)
  • Vegetarianism as required

What do Buddhists believe?
  • Rebirth (reincarnation) results from attachments
  • Nirvana is a peaceful, detached state of mind
  • Achieving Nirvana means escape from the cycle of
  • Once Gautama Buddha died, after 80 years of life
    in this world, having achieved Nirvana and
    teaching multitudes his way of life, he ceased to
    exist as a distinct being
  • Buddhism is non-theistic Buddha is not the
    Buddhist God he is just a revered teacher

  • Some lamas are considered reincarnations of their
    predecessors. These are termed sprul-sku lamas,
    as distinguished from developed lamas, who have
    won respect because of the high level of
    spiritual development they have achieved in the
    present lifetime. The highest lineage of
    reincarnate lamas is that of Dalai Lama, who was,
    until 1959 when he went into exile, the temporal
    ruler of Tibet. The title is given to the head of
    the dominant order of Tibetan Buddhists,
    the Dge-lugs-pa (Yellow Hat sect). He is
    considered the physical manifestation of the
    compassionate bodhisattva (buddha-to-be)
    Avalokiteshvara. The second highest line of
    succession is that of the Panchen Lama, head
    abbot of the Tashilhunpo monastery, believed to
    be the manifestation of the Buddha Amitabha.
    Other, lesser sprul-sku lamas, of which there are
    several thousand, are revered as reincarnations
    of great saints or teachers, ranked as great,
    middle, or lesser incarnations. The idea probably
    originated from the tradition of the
    84 mahasiddhas, or master yogins (spiritual
    adepts, or ascetics), many of whom were
    identified as manifestations of earlier sages,
    coupled with the accepted Buddhist belief in

The Lama of Compassion
  • The 14th Dalai Lama (religious name Tenzin Gyatso

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  • Dalai Lamas are believed to be the reincarnation
    of Avalokitesvara, an important Buddhist deity
    and the personification of compassion. Dalai
    Lamas are also enlightened beings who have
    postponed their own afterlife and chosen to take
    rebirth to benefit humanity. "Dalai" means
    "ocean" in Mongolian (the name "Gyatso" comes
    from the Tibetan word for ocean). "Lama" is the
    equivalent of the Sanskrit word "guru," or
    spiritual teacher. Put together, the title of
    Dalai Lama is literally "Ocean Teacher," meaning
    a "teacher spiritually as deep as the ocean."

  • Lhamo Thondup was born on July 6, 1935 in
    Taktser, China, northeast of Tibet, to a peasant
    family. He is the head of state and spiritual
    leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile based
    in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans believe him to be
    the reincarnation of his predecessors. For nearly
    50 years, he had aimed to establish Tibet as a
    self-governing, democratic state.

  • Lhamo Thondup was the fifth of 16 childrenseven
    of whom died at a young age. After several months
    of searching for a successor to the 13th Dalai
    Lama and following many significant spiritual
    signs, religious officials located Lhamo Thondup,
    at age 2, and identified him as the reincarnation
    of the 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso. Young
    Lhamo was renamed Tenzin Gyatso and proclaimed
    the 14th Dalai Lama.

Buddhist Metaphysics
  • Dukkha life in this world is filled with
  • Anicca everything in this world is impermanent
  • Suffering is a state of mind achieve a
    balanced, peaceful, detached state of mind and
    suffering can be extinguished (Nirvana)

What are some Buddhist texts?
  • Tripitaka (the Pali Cannon) the Three
  • Vinaya (discipline) rules for monastic life
  • Sutta (discourse) sermons of the Buddha
  • Abhidhamma (metaphysical teachings)
  • Dhammapada collected sayings of the Buddha
  • Other texts used by specific schools

The Spread of Buddhism
  • Within two centuries after the Buddha died,
    Buddhism began to spread north and east into Asia
  • By 13th century Buddhism had disappeared from

Schools of Buddhism - Theravada
  • The Way of the Elders (a.k.a. the small
  • Oldest school of Buddhism
  • Found in southern Asia (Sri Lanka, Burma,
    Thailand, etc.)
  • Monasticism is the ideal life for achieving
  • A do-it-yourself approach to enlightenment
  • Focus on wisdom and meditation
  • Goal is to become a Buddha
  • Fairly unified in belief practice (some
    cultural differences)

Schools of Buddhism - Mahayana
  • The Great Vehicle
  • Developed first century C.E.
  • Found in Northern Asia (China, Japan, etc.)
  • Lay Buddhism Buddhism for the masses
  • Devotional seek guidance from Bodhisattvas
    (wise beings) heavenly Buddhas (kwan Yin,
    Amida, etc.)
  • Focus on compassion
  • Goal is to become a bodhisattva and assist others
    toward enlightenment (the Bodhisattva Ideal)
  • Diverse schools and sects including
  • Pureland, Nichiren, Tendai, Shingon, and others

Schools of Buddhism - Tibetan
  • Vajrayana the Diamond Vehicle
  • Developed 7th century C.E.
  • A mix of Theravada Mahayana
  • Rituals (Tantra)
  • Mantras (chanting)
  • Mandalas Thankas (symbolic images)
  • Mudras (hand gestures)
  • Bodhisattvas, including living Lamas (Dalai Lama)
  • Meditation, monasticism, wisdom compassion
  • Bardo Thodol -Tibetan Book of the Dead

Schools of Buddhism Zen
  • The meditation school
  • Lay and monastic
  • Seeks sudden enlightenment (satori) through
    meditation, arriving at emptiness (sunyata) and
    the Buddha Nature
  • Use of meditation masters (Roshi)
  • Koans (paradoxical riddles to confound reason)
  • Beauty, arts aesthetics gardens, archery, the
    tea ceremony, calligraphy, etc.

Buddhism in the West
  • Over the past two centuries, especially since the
    later half of the 20th century, Buddhism has made
    inroads into the Western world through
  • Immigration of Asian peoples who have brought
    their diverse forms of Buddhism to the West
  • Western followers who tend to adopt meditation
    practices and the philosophy rather than more
    devotional forms of Buddhism
  • Many such western followers remain within their
    own faith traditions, finding Buddhism to be a
    complement to rather than in conflict with other
  • The two groups remain independent of one another

  • Quotation by Siddhãrtha Gautama (Buddha)
  • "Do not believe in anything simply because you
    have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply
    because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not
    believe in anything simply because it is found
    written in your religious books. Do not believe
    in anything merely on the authority of your
    teachers and elders. Do not believe in
    traditions simply because they have been handed
    down for many generations. But after observation
    and analysis, when you find that anything agrees
    with reason and is conducive to the good and
    benefit of one and all, then accept it and live
    up to it."

Created by Laura Ellen Shulman
If we learn to open our hearts, anyone,
including the people who drive us crazy, can be
our teacher.
  • Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible.
    We all wish for world peace, but world peace will
    never be acheived unless we first establish peace
    within our own minds. We can send so-called
    'peacekeeping forces' into areas of conflict, but
    peace cannot be oppossed from the outside with
    guns. Only by creating peace within our own mind
    and helping others to do the same can we hope to
    achieve peace in this world.
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