Friday, June 09, 2006

What is Nirvana?

Nirvana is a dimension transcending time and space and thus is difficult to talk about or even to think about. Words and thoughts being only suited to describe the time-space dimension. But because Nirvana is beyond time, there is no movement and so no aging or dying. Thus Nirvana is eternal. Because it is beyond space, there is no causation, no boundary, no concept of self and not-self and thus Nirvana is infinite. The Buddha also assures us that Nirvana is an experience of profound happiness. He says:
Nirvana is the highest happiness
The existence of Nirvana can not be proved but, its existence can be inferred. If there is a dimension where time and space do operate and there is such a dimension - the world we experience, then we can infer that there is a dimension where time and space do not operate - Nirvana. Again, even though we cannot prove Nirvana exists, we have the Buddha's word that it does exist. He tells us:
"There is an Unborn, a Not-become, a Not-made, a Not-compounded. If there were not, this Unborn, Not become, Not-made, Not-compounded, there could not be made any escape from what is born, become, made, and compounded. But since there is this Unborn, Not become, Not-made, Not-compounded, therefore is there made known an escape from what is born, become, made, and compounded."

What are the 5 Precepts?

The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are:
  • not to take the life of anything living,
  • not to take anything not freely given,
  • to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence,
  • to refrain from untrue speech, and
  • to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What is the Noble 8-Fold Path?

In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focussing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Four Noble Truths

The First Noble Truth:
The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
The Second Noble Truth:
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.
The Third Noble Truth:
The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.
The Fourth Noble Truth:
The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.

What did the Buddha Teach?

The Buddha taught many things, but the basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Is Buddhism Scientific?

Science is knowledge which can be made into a system, which depends upon seeing and testing facts and stating general natural laws. The core of Buddhism fit into this definition, because the Four Noble truths (see below) can be tested and proven by anyone in fact the Buddha himself asked his followers to test the teaching rather than accept his word as true. Buddhism depends more on understanding than faith.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Are Other Religions Wrong?


Buddhism is also a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions. Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Muslem', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.

Are There Different Types of Buddhism?

There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes from country to country due to customs and culture. What does not vary is the essence of the teaching — the Dhamma or truth.

Do Buddhists Worship Idols?

Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves. Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Was the Buddha a God?

He was not, nor did he claim to be. He was a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experience.

Who Was the Buddha?


Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. After six years of study and meditation he finally found 'the middle path' and was enlightened. After enlightenment, the Buddha spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism — called the Dhamma, or Truth — until his death at the age of 80.

Why is Buddhism Becoming Popular?

Buddhism is becoming popular in western countries for a number of reasons, The first good reason is Buddhism has answers to many of the problems in modern materialistic societies. It also includes (for those who are interested) a deep understanding of the human mind (and natural therapies) which prominent psychologists around the world are now discovering to be both very advanced and effective.

Is Buddhism a Religion?

To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. It is a philosophy because philosophy 'means love of wisdom' and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:

  1. to lead a moral life,
  2. to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
  3. to develop wisdom and understanding

What is Buddhism?


Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.