Be a Light unto yourself: Zen Moments #6

Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana

Image via Wikipedia

Every day Zuigan used to call out to himself, “Master!” and then he answered himself, “Yes, Sir!” And he added, “Awake, Awake!” and then answered, “Yes, Sir! Yes, Sir!”
“Do not be deceived by others!” “No, Sir! I will not, Sir!”

Buddha also said ‘Be a lamp unto yourself’

As his death approached, the Buddha said to those gathered around him:
Be a light unto yourself; betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the Truth. Look not for refuge to anyone besides yourselves.


But it’s very common for people to fall into the trap of external voices & confirming to what ‘society’ wants people to do…many people fall into this trap and become sheeple (Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a term of disparagement in which people are likened to sheep, a herd animal. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research. By doing so, they undermine their own individuality and may willingly give up their rights.)..people do not listen to their own inner voice but do what everyone else is doing without as much as questioning their choices. In today’s world it’s very easy to fall into the traps of advertising, peer pressure, American Dream, Indian Dream & what not…so like Zuigan we must keep reminding ourselves everyday to be our own master & march to our own tune.

Advertisements

February 16, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Happiness, Meaning of Life, Quitting the Rat Race, Reflections/Musings, Wisdom, Zen. 3 comments.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #16: 83 Problems-A Buddhist Parable

English: Paintings of Buddha meditating

Image via Wikipedia

A farmer had many complaints. He told the Buddha all about how difficult his life was. It seemed that the weather never cooperated the way that he wanted. It was either too wet or too dry, so his crops often failed. Also, while his wife was a good woman, she was much too critical of him, and lately his children were showing no gratitude for anything that he did for them. Furthermore, his neighbors were much too nosey and seemed to always be interfering in his affairs by spreading gossip about him.

The farmer, finishing his list of complaints, looked expectantly to the Buddha for a solution and was surprised when the Buddha said the he could not help him. According to the Buddha all human beings have 83 problems and that is just the way life is. While you can work hard and solve a few problems, once you do others will soon take their place. Upon hearing this, the farmer, in exasperation, asked, “Then what is the good of all your teaching?” The Buddha replied, “My teaching can’t help you with the 83 problems, but perhaps it can help with the 84th.” “What’s that?” the farmer asked. “The 84th problem,” the Buddha said, “is that you don’t want to have any problems.”


January 3, 2012. Buddha, Buddhism, Parables. Leave a comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #15: Commentary on Kalama Sutta


This painting depicts Ananda at the First Budd...
Image via Wikipedia

Kalama Sutta

The people of Kalama asked the Buddha who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, venerables, and holy ones who, like himself, passed through their town. They complained that they were confused by the many contradictions they discovered in what they heard. The Kalama Sutta is the Buddha’s reply.

Do not believe anything on mere hearsay.

Do not believe in traditions merely because they are old and have been handed down for many generations and in many places.

Do not believe anything on account of rumors or because people talk a a great deal about it.

Do not believe anything because you are shown the written testimony of some ancient sage.

Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because it is extraordinary, it must have been inspired by a god or other wonderful being.

Do not believe anything merely because presumption is in its favor, or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true.

Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests.

But, whatever, after thorough investigation and reflection, you find to agree with reason and experience, as conducive to the good and benefit of one and all and of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it.

The same text, said the Buddha, must be applied to his own teachings.

Do not accept any doctrine from reverence, but first try it as gold is tried by fire.


For me this is the chief appeal of Buddhism. Buddha doesn’t give us any Gospel truth. He doesn’t force any belief on us, nothing is to be believed because Buddha said so.  It has a very scientific n rational approach. We test a hypothesis on the basis of our life experiences n accept it only if it rings true for us.

  

January 3, 2012. Buddha, Buddhism. 2 comments.

Finding Happiness the Epictetus Way #6

Epictetus on dealing with insults:

‘It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting’

‘If evil be spoken of you and it be true, correct yourself, if it be a lie, laugh at it.’

If anyone tells you that such a person speaks ill of you, don’t make excuses about what is said of you, but answer: ” He does not know my other faults, else he would not have mentioned only these.”

My commentary: 

Eleanor Roosevelt has said that no one can make us feel inferior without our consent. It takes two people to insult, one to give & one to receive it, so if we simply refuse to get insulted no one can insult us even though they might say bad things about us. There’s a beautiful incident from Buddha‘s life which goes like this (As narrated by Osho):

Buddha was passing through a village. The people of that village were against him, against his philosophy, so they gathered around him to insult him. They used ugly words, vulgar words. Buddha listened. Ananda, Buddha’s disciple who was with him, got very angry, but he couldn’t say anything because Buddha was listening so silently, so patiently, rather as if he was enjoying the whole thing.

Then even the crowd became a little frustrated because he was not getting irritated and it seemed he was enjoying. Buddha said, ”Now, if you are finished, I should move – because I have to reach the other village soon. They must be waiting just as you were waiting for me. If you have not told me all the things that you thought to tell me, I will be coming back within a few days, then you can finish it.”

Somebody from the crowd said, ”But we have been insulting you, we have insulted you. Won’t you react? Won’t you say something?” 

Buddha said, ”That is difficult. If you want reaction from me, then you are too late. You should have come at least ten years ago, because then I used to react. But I am now no longer so foolish. I see that you are angry, that’s why you are insulting me. I see your anger, the fire burning in your mind. I feel compassion for you. This is my response – I feel compassion for you. Unnecessarily you are troubled.

”Even if I am wrong, why should you get so irritated? That is not your business. If I am wrong I am going to hell, you will not go with me. If I am wrong I will suffer for it, you will not suffer for it. But it seems you love me so much and you think about me and consider me so much that you are so angry, irritated. You have left your work in the fields and you have come just to say a few things to me. I am thankful.”

Just when he was leaving he said, ”One thing more I would like to say to you. In the other village I left behind, a great crowd just like you had come there and they had brought many sweets just as a present for me, a gift from the village. But I told them that I don’t take sweets. They took the sweets back. I ask you, what will they do with those sweets?”

So somebody from the crowd said, ”What will they do? It is easy, there is no need to answer. They will distribute them in the village and they will enjoy.”

So Buddha said, ”Now what will you do? You have brought only insults and I say I don’t take them. What will you do? I feel so sorry for you. You can insult me, that is up to you. But I don’t take it, that is up to me – whether I take it or not.” Buddha said, ”I don’t take unnecessary things, useless things. I don’t get unnecessarily burdened. I feel compassion for you.”

Osho says if we react to insults, it’s like we have given the remote control of our happiness to other people, they can agitate us whenever they want.

‘Watch how many things you do unconsciously. Somebody says something and there is anger. There is not even a single moment’s gap. It is as if you are just a mechanism — somebody pushes a button and you lose your temper. Just as if you push the button and the fan starts moving and the light goes on. There is not a. single moment. The fan never thinks whether to move or not to move; it simple moves.
This is unconsciousness, this is mindlessness. Somebody insults and you are simply controlled by his insult.”

So if someone says something bad about it, we should think that it’s got nothing to do with us, but everything to do with their own nature. Let them behave according to their nature & let us behave according to our nature.

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl and again the scorpion fell in. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung. The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know it’s nature is to sting?”

“Because,” the monk replied, “to save it is my nature.” 

The Best way to deal with an insult is not trying to top it up & insulting the person who insulted us in retaliation, the best way is to ignore it & go our way.

Finally it should be understood that people are bound to say one thing or another no matter what we try to do, so it’s wise to use our common sense & do what we deem the best in a given situation rather than twisting & turning trying to please them. Let them insult us but let us not make fools of ourselves in reaction to those insults. This story from Aesop’s Fables demonstrates this point wonderfully:

The Man, the Boy and the Donkey

Once a man and his son were walking to the market with their donkey. A countryman noticed that the donkey was walking alongside them and laughed, “You fools, what is a donkey for but to ride upon?!”

So the man decided to put his son on the donkey and they went on their way. A little while later they passed a group of men. One of them said, “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

The man then ordered the boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women. One of them said to the other, “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

The man didn’t know what to do at first. He thought and thought and finally decided to put his son up in front of him on the donkey.

Soon they reached the town. There too the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The man stopped and asked them what they were scoffing at. The people said, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey?”

The man and the boy got off. They had to think of what to do all over again. At last they had an idea. They took a long pole and tied the donkey’s feet to it. Then they raised the pole to their shoulders and carried the donkey upside down.

They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to the market bridge. The donkey accidentally got one of his feet loose and kicking out, caused the boy to drop his end of the pole.

In the struggle that followed, the poor donkey, with his forelegs tied together, fell over the bridge and drowned.

September 13, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Greek Philosophers, Happiness, Inspiration, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Osho, Parables, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings, Teaching Stories, Wisdom. 12 comments.

Finding Happiness the Epictetus way #2

IMG_3591

Image by Eka Wangsa via Flickr

After laying emphasis on focusing our attention to ‘things under our control’ & giving up struggling on ‘things outside our control’, the next thing Epictetus deals with in Enchiridion  are the concepts of ‘impermanence’ & ‘clinging‘.

He says “With regard to whatever objects give you delight, are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are, beginning from the most insignificant things. If, for example, you are fond of a specific ceramic cup, remind yourself that it is only ceramic cups in general of which you are fond. Then, if it breaks, you will not be disturbed. If you kiss your child, or your wife, say that you only kiss things which are human, and thus you will not be disturbed if either of them dies.”

“Never say of anything, “I have lost it”; but, “I have returned it.” Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is not that likewise returned? “But he who took it away is a bad man.” What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don’t view it as your own, just as travelers view a hotel.

“If you wish your children, and your wife, and your friends to live for ever, you are stupid; for you wish to be in control of things which you cannot, you wish for things that belong to others to be your own. So likewise, if you wish your servant to be without fault, you are a fool; for you wish vice not to be vice,” but something else. But, if you wish to have your desires undisappointed, this is in your own control. Exercise, therefore, what is in your control. He is the master of every other person who is able to confer or remove whatever that person wishes either to have or to avoid. Whoever, then, would be free, let him wish nothing, let him decline nothing, which depends on others else he must necessarily be a slave. “

Further Analysis:

Buddhism also stresses on the importance of understanding ‘impermanence’ and ‘attachment’ to attain Equanimity & Peace of mind.

Buddha said “Whatever is subject to oirigination is subject to destruction”  Impermanence is a fact of life. He said that suffering is not inherent in the world of impermanence; suffering arises when we cling. When clinging disappears, impermanence no longer gives rise to suffering. The solution to suffering, then, is to end clinging, not to try to escape from the transient world.

It is possible to find ease and grace in the world of change; it is possible to trust the mind of non-clinging and so find our liberation within the world of impermanence. One means of reducing clinging is to see the transient nature of what we cling to. This insight can either show us the futility of trying to find lasting happiness in what is impermanent, or it can encourage us to examine deeply why we cling.

 There is a very interesting story by Ghou Zeng , ‘Letting Go of Illusive Sentimentality’ where a non Buddhist encounters how Buddhists understand & deal with death. The non Buddhist comes across a father whose son dies after a snake bite when the father & son are working in a field. The father is unperturbed & continues to work.  The non Buddhist is shocked beyond belief & asks the father is he not sad, to which the father replies “What for?  Death is an element in life.  The prosperity and withering of things has its own clock.  Now that the person is dead, if he is kind, there will be kind arrangements for him.  If bad elements in his life have matured, he will experience retribution right away.  What good can I do to the dead person if I
cry?” .

Not only this the father asks the non Buddhist to go to his house & tell his family that he would need only one lunch that afternoon. Hearing this the non Buddhist is not only shocked but angry too. He things the father is the most selfish unfeeling person in the world who is not even skipping his lunch when his son has just died. Anyways he reaches the man’s house & passes on the message to the mother, sister & wife of the dead boy. Surprisingly their reactions are very similar to that of the boy’s father. They take the news as if it is something very normal & expected. They are neither shocked nor sad.

The non-Buddhist asked, “Aren’t you sad about your son’s death?” The old woman said, “This son came to my family out of his own will.  I didn’t ask him to come.  Now he is gone.  I cannot keep him.  We are like travelers spending the night at the same inn.  The next day, all of us leave for our own paths. No one can keep anyone else.  In fact, there’s no need to keep any one.  It is the same between my son and me.  I cannot direct my son’s coming and going.  It follows his karmic predestined relationship.”  The non-Buddhist heard this and thought that the couple was truly cold-blooded.

The sister remarked, “He’s already dead.  Why should I be sad?  We are like logs tied into a raft.  We are sailing together in the water.  When a big storm comes, the raft falls apart.  Each log follows its own way with the current.  The logs cannot be combined together any more.  We have become sister and brother due to random reasons and have come to the same family.  However, life is different for everyone.  There isn’t a set time for life and death.  He has left before I do.  What can I do as a sister?”

The wife said calmly:  “Our marriage is like flying birds in the sky.  They rest together at night.  They go out their own ways to find food at the next dawn.  Every one has each one’s destiny.  It is his fortune that he doesn’t have to come back once he flies.  I cannot replace him.  I cannot bear his karma for
him.  We are like people who get to know each other on our journey.  We have to go our own ways sooner or later.”

Then he meets Buddha, he didn’t ask any questions.  However, Buddha read his mind and asked, “What has made you so sad?”

The non-Buddhist told the story of the farmer family to Buddha.  He thought that the farmer family didn’t have any love not to mention compassion.  He didn’t think this kind of things should happen.

Buddha smiled & said “The family you met wasn’t wrong on the principle.  They knew that they couldn’t forever keep their human flesh.  When a person dies, everyone cries loudly for him.  What good does it do to the dead person?  Moreover, life has birth and death.  Happiness at birth and sadness at death are signs of the confusion that the secular world has towards life and death.  The circle of life and death never stops.”

After hearing the guidance from the Buddha, the non-Buddhist suddenly understood.  From then on, he converted to Buddhism and became a diligent monk.

The story of Kisa Gautami

Kisa Gautami was a young woman from a wealthy family who was happily married to an important merchant. When her only son was one-year-old, he fell ill and died suddenly. Kisa Gautami was struck with grief, she could not bare the death of her only child. Weeping and groaning, she took her dead baby in her arms and went from house to house begging all the people in the town for news of a way to bring her son back to life.

Of course, nobody could help her but Kisa Gautami would not give up. Finally she came across a Buddhist who advised her to go and see the Buddha himself.

When she carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story, He listened with patience and compassion, and then said to her, “Kisa Gautami, there is only one way to solve your problem. Go and find me four or five mustard seeds from any family in which there has never been a death.”

Kisa Gautami was filled with hope, and set off straight away to find such a household. But very soon she discovered that every family she visited had experienced the death of one person or another. At last, she understood what the Buddha had wanted her to find out for herself — that suffering is a part of life, and death comes to us all. Once Kisa Guatami accepted the fact that death is inevitable, she could stop her grieving. She took the child’s body away and later returned to the Buddha to become one of His followers.

September 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Greek Philosophers, Happiness, Meaning of Life, My lifestyle, My Values, Parables, Philosophy, Reflections/Musings, Teaching Stories, Wisdom. 10 comments.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #14: A Buddhist Story

One day a famous government officer met a highly respected elderly master. Being conceited, he wanted to prove that he was the superior person.As their conversation drew on, he asked the master, “Old monk, do you know what I think of you and the things you said?”
The master replied, “I don’t care what you think of me. You are entitled to have your own opinion.”
The officer snorted, “Well, I will tell you what I think anyway. In my eyes, you are just like a pile of dry shit!”
The master simply smiled and stayed quiet.
Seeing that his insult had fallen into deaf ears, he asked curiously, “And what do you think of me?”
The master said, “In my eyes, you are just like the Buddha.”
Hearing this remark, the officer left happily and bragged to his wife about the incident.
His wife said to him, “You conceited fool! When a person has a heart like a pile of dry shit, he sees everyone in that light. The elderly master has a heart like that of the Buddha, and that is why in his eyes, everyone, including you, is like the Buddha!”

August 17, 2010. Tags: , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Parables, Wisdom. 1 comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #13: Death as a Teacher

Buddhism has a lot to say about the role of death in human life, as well as its true nature. Death can be a teacher of impermanence, emptiness, karma, four noble truth and eightfold noble path. By just thinking and understanding our death, one may attain enlightenment in this life time.

From a Buddhist point of view, the actual experience of death is very important. Although how or where we will be reborn is generally dependent on karmic forces, our state of mind at the time of death can influence the quality of our next rebirth. So at the moment of death, if we make a special effort to generate a virtuous state of mind, we may activate a virtuous karma, & bring abt a happy rebirth.

~THE DALAI LAMA

June 2, 2010. Tags: , . Buddha, Buddhism. Leave a comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #12

Revisiting Impermanence: The Tale of Kisa Gotami

Kisa Gotami was the wife of a wealthy man of Savatthi. She had only one child. When her son was old enough to start running about, he caught a disease and died. Kisa Gotami was greatly saddened. Unable to accept that her son was dead and could not be brought back to life again, she took him in her arms and went about asking for medicine to cure him. Everyone she encountered thought that she had lost her mind. Finally, an old man told her that if there was anyone who could help her, it would be the Buddha.
In her distress, Kisa Gotami brought the body of her son to the Buddha and asked him for a medicine that would bring back his life. The Buddha answered: “I shall cure him if you can bring me some white mustard seeds from a house where no one has died”. Carrying her dead son, she went from door to door, asking at each house. At each house the reply was always that someone had died there. At last the truth struck her, “No house is free from death”. She laid the body of her child in the wood and returned to the Buddha, who comforted her and preached to her the truth. She was awakened and entered the first stage of Arhatship. Eventually, she became an Arhat.

The story of Kisa Gotami is one of the famous stories from Buddha’s life…it tells us that however sad we might feel at the loss of a loved one, impermanence will remain a fact of life. The best way then is to understand n embrace impermanence as ‘such is the nature of life…such is the nature of things’

“… If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don’t suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away. If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving, and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing is possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Instead of complaining, we should say, ‘Long live impermanence!’. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.”

March 26, 2010. Tags: , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Inspiration, Wisdom. 1 comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #11

Reflect on Impermanence

“… If you suffer, it is not because things are impermanent. It is because you believe things are permanent. When a flower dies, you don’t suffer much, because you understand that flowers are impermanent. But you cannot accept the impermanence of your beloved one, and you suffer deeply when she passes away. If you look deeply into impermanence, you will do your best to make her happy right now. Aware of impermanence, you become positive, loving, and wise. Impermanence is good news. Without impermanence, nothing is possible. With impermanence, every door is open for change. Instead of complaining, we should say, ‘Long live impermanence!’. Impermanence is an instrument for our liberation.”

March 4, 2010. Tags: , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Quotations, Wisdom. 4 comments.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #10

Matthieu Ricard on Happiness

Sometimes called the “happiest man in the world,” Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, author and photographer.


March 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Happiness, Wisdom, You tube. Leave a comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #9

How to Become a Buddhist

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit
You, for whatever reason, may be interested in Buddhism, joining the community or integrating the Buddha’s great teachings. Whatever your reasons, this article will teach you the basics of what you need to know to become a Buddhist. Siddhartha taught that all suffering derives from some sort of desire, whether it be your own or that of those around you. Think about that. How true is that statement? Very true, indeed. How many times has someone wanted a new car or to win the lottery and this doesn’t happen? They are sad. What if someone does get the car or wins the lottery? They’ll get sick of them, want more of what’s out there and inevitably suffer more. For years philosophers and social scientists have pondered how to achieve world peace, and all the while a Nepalese man named Siddhartha Gautama had discovered the solution nearly 2600 years ago. The fact is most people are unable to accept this ultimate truth and believe that as long as they have faith in a deity, attend regular assemblies with a congregation, and pretend to follow certain values, that somehow everything will “be all right.”
But you are different because you have chosen to come here, and to read these words. You are ready for change. You may be ready for Buddhism.

Steps

  1. Read about Siddhartha Gautama the “exalted one”, the father of Buddhism.
  2. Learn about the Buddha’s teachings which include (but are not limited to) the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path.
  3. Practice [Buddhist meditation] in order to free your mind from worry and focus on the present to achieve inner peace.
  4. The Buddha taught that as we all go through the life cycle, we will meet with some inconvenience, not always satisfactory and there may be suffering. It depends on how we deal with the situation. The word “dukkha”, has many meanings from suffering to dissatisfaction to inconvenience and so on.
  5. Understand and research the concepts of rebirth and Karma.
  6. Understand “dukkha” and Buddhist definitions of the many sufferings.
  7. Determine which of the many paths of Buddhism you would like to pursue, whether it be Zen Buddhism, Theravada (a very traditional form), or Mahayana. However simple, personal and non-ritual Buddhism is the best way to practice in the West; following a certain traditional path isn’t a requirement for enlightenment.
  8. Practice the Buddha’s teachings in your everyday life.
  9. Participate within your local Buddhist community. Helping others helps you as well.
  10. The Four Noble Truths are:
  11. Life means suffering.
  12. The origin of suffering is attachment.
  13. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
  14. The path to the cessation of suffering.
  15. The Eightfold Path is broken down into three sub-topics:
  16. Wisdom
  17. Right View
  18. Right Intention
  19. Ethical Conduct
  20. Right Speech
  21. Right Action
  22. Right Livelihood
  23. Mental Development
  24. Right Effort
  25. Right Mindfulness
  26. Right Concentration

Tips

  • Buddhism is a philosophy that can easily co-exist with your current (or childhood) religious teachings. You do not have to choose to drop your previous teachings.
  • Don’t try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better person.
  • Find a teacher or experienced practitioner to give you advice.
  • The basis behind precepts or moral discipline in Buddhism is ‘doing no harm’ so this is a recommended first step.
  • Accept with your heart and mind to achieve supreme knowledge (Samma-Sambodhi.) All humans are capable of achieving Buddhahood in this life, as the Buddha repeatedly stated, though many are not motivated or dedicated enough to attain the supreme goal.
  • Be kind to all you meet, for they are your equal.
  • Practice meditation on a regular, if not daily, basis.
  • Some schools of Buddhism recommend to practice vegetarianism, in respect for animals.
  • Try to abstain from intoxicants (alcohol, drugs). One must truly overcome suffering, not avoid it.
  • If you are Agnostic, consider learning about Buddhist practices. The practice of meditation is a strong mental tool, and the teachings encourage only kindness.
  • Buddhism does not have a written doctrine that can be used in fundamentalist arguments.
  • One must accept change – all things are transient. learning and meditating on this can help not to get too attached to any thing, as it will all change.
  • Humility is essential. You are no different from any other living thing. Work with yourself to be less self important.
  • This will help stop clinging onto things, be it material or conceptual. Don’t pursue enlightenment, stop the leaning of your mind.
  • See the whole.

Things You’ll Need

  • Only real requisite: Your mind
  • Patience and perseverance
  • Experienced teachers and friends with your same goal will be of great help
  • Dharma, the lessons of Buddha, will also be of great help
  • One of the best books on Buddhism I’ve read is: The Buddha in Your Mirror, (ISBN-10: 0967469783 or ISBN-13: 978-0967469782)

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Become a Buddhist. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

March 3, 2010. Tags: , . Buddha, Buddhism, Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons:Lesson #8

There is a beautiful anecdote from Buddha’s life…Buddha never reacted when someone abused/insulted him…if we let others make us angry it just means we let them push our buttons..others may choose to abuse us but still we may choose not to react…how others behave is their karma, how we react is our karma

Buddha was passing through a village. The people of that village were against him, against his philosophy, so they gathered around him to insult him. They used ugly words, vulgar words. Buddha listened. Ananda, Buddha’s disciple who was with him, got very angry, but he couldn’t say anything because Buddha was listening so silently, so patiently, rather as if he was enjoying the whole thing.

Then even the crowd became a little frustrated because he was not getting irritated and it seemed he was enjoying. Buddha said, ”Now, if you are finished, I should move – because I have to reach the other village soon. They must be waiting just as you were waiting for me. If you have not told me all the things that you thought to tell me, I will be coming back within a few days, then you can finish it.”

Somebody from the crowd said, ”But we have been insulting you, we have insulted you. Won’t you react? Won’t you say something?”

Buddha said, ”That is difficult. If you want reaction from me, then you are too late. You should have come at least ten years ago, because then I used to react. But I am now no longer so foolish. I see that you are angry, that’s why you are insulting me. I see your anger, the fire burning in your mind. I feel compassion for you. This is my response – I feel compassion for you. Unnecessarily you are troubled.

”Even if I am wrong, why should you get so irritated? That is not your business. If I am wrong I am going to hell, you will not go with me. If I am wrong I will suffer for it, you will not suffer for it. But it seems you love me so much and you think about me and consider me so much that you are so angry, irritated. You have left your work in the fields and you have come just to say a few things to me. I am thankful.”

Just when he was leaving he said, ”One thing more I would like to say to you. In the other village I left behind, a great crowd just like you had come there and they had brought many sweets just as a present for me, a gift from the village. But I told them that I don’t take sweets. They took the sweets back. I ask you, what will they do with those sweets?”

So somebody from the crowd said, ”What will they do? It is easy, there is no need to answer. They will distribute them in the village and they will enjoy.”

So Buddha said, ”Now what will you do? You have brought only insults and I say I don’t take them. What will you do? I feel so sorry for you. You can insult me, that is up to you. But I don’t take it, that is up to me – whether I take it or not.” Buddha said, ”I don’t take unnecessary things, useless things. I don’t get unnecessarily burdened. “

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Inspiration, Wisdom. 1 comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons:Lesson #7

Golden Nuggets of wisdom from Buddha

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere.

You, yourself, more than anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.(modified)

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.

To understand everything is to forgive everything

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.

Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.

Do not underrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Quotations, Wisdom. 1 comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons:Lesson #6

Parable of Arrow: Buddha on Existence of God, who created the Universe etc

If we are concerned about then consider the parable of the poison arrow.

A man went to the Buddha insisting on answers to the questions ‘who created the world?’ and ‘why are we here?’, but the Buddha instead put a question to him: “If you were shot by a poison arrow, and a doctor was summoned to extract it, what would you do? Would you ask such questions as who shot the arrow, from which tribe did he come, who made the arrow, who made the poison, etc., or would you have the doctor immediately pull out the arrow?”

“Of course,” replied the man, “I would have the arrow pulled out as quickly as possible.” The Buddha concluded, “That is wise, for the task before us is the solving of life’s problems; until the problems are solved, these questions are of secondary importance.”

Life does not depend on the knowing how we got here or what will happen after we are gone. Whether we hold these views about these things or not, there is still suffering, sorrow, old age, sickness, and death.

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , . Buddha, Buddhism, Wisdom. Leave a comment.

Buddhism in Bite Size Lessons: Lesson #5

Birth, Early life & Enlightenment of Siddharth Gautam Buddha

March 3, 2010. Tags: , , . Buddha, Buddhism, You tube. Leave a comment.

Next Page »