Buddhism, Philosophy, Reincarnation, Society, Spirituality

Episode 20: Buddhism is not a Religion!


Buddha Picture Elephant Lying Down Sleeping

Buddhism is not a religion.

That’s a bold statement, considering the sheer volume of monasteries, Buddha statues, and complex practices embodying Yidams, Devas, Mandalas, and Incense. Not to mention carefully laid precepts and the Noble 8-fold path… which sounds like the Christian ladder to heaven, doesn’t it? It does, until we discover for ourselves what Buddhism embodies. Like Christ was a man and the term “Christianity” came after him, so has “Buddhism” come after the Buddha. Buddha is not worshipped as some God we cannot be, but as an inspiring human being who has lived in our not-so-recent-past, engaged in unfathomable amounts of unconditional compassion for others. He came to embody “enlightenment” or “awakening” by figuring out the true purpose of life and passing it on.

There is historical evidence of this right here, folks.

This is from an article you can look up online called “Footprints in the Dust: A Study of The Buddha’s Travels”: the Buddha walked on foot for 40 years, without sandals, in the Indian heat and mountains, mixing with everyone, including dangerous individuals, until he was 80 years old and died of food poisoning. He slept on the ground, sometimes in the winter frost.

When a man found the Buddha sleeping underneath a tree, without a blanket in winter, he asked, “do you need anything? Are you happy?” The Buddha replied, “Yes, I am happy”, and went back to sleep.

He covered 200,000 square kilometres of Indian territory in his life, just to teach about compassion. He taught most days of his life and woke up at 4am, meditating first thing and looked for beings who needed help in his meditation. He would then feed others or beg for food himself after this. He walked, ate, meditated, slept, and taught, day-in and day-out. Is this inspiring, or what?

If people thought they loved Michael Jackson, think of the constant selfless service the Buddha engaged in just to help others. Wow.

Please listen above to find out more…

Buddhism, Society, Spirituality

Episode 13: Samsara Explained; Getting off the Wheel

 

samsara

Samsara is the arena in which we all operate; life is “dukkha”, said the Buddha.

“Dukkha” is normally translated as “suffering”. However, that’s not a very accurate portrayal. It’s more like “dissatisfaction” that lingers around our every move as we flow through life. What we think will give us pleasure, satisfaction, or security, eventually lets us down.

There is a way out of this cycle, though, and the Buddha laid down the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path for us to see how to get there. He found this information under the Bodhi Tree on the night of his enlightenment.

I am sure that this is not the only way to become liberated, and I am also sure that we all have the capacity and capability to find liberation on our own, without teachers, words, or gurus. But, if it works for you and you see results, why not go for it?

The path to liberation is hard. But Samsara is also hard.

So choosing the best way forward is up to us — whether we feel the pull in our soul to be satisfied… or to put up with the unending cycle of life and its subtle sways.

In our next episode, I will explain the 4 Noble Truths and the 8-fold Path.