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Archive for the ‘Buddhist Concepts’ Category

A Basic Buddhism Guide: 5 Minute Introduction

Posted: May 28, 2015 at 10:48 am


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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.

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.

How Can Buddhism Help Me?

Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to true happiness.

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.

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.

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A Basic Buddhism Guide: 5 Minute Introduction

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May 28th, 2015 at 10:48 am

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Basics of Buddhism – PBS

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Siddhartha Gautama: The Buddha

Historians estimate that the founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama, lived from 566(?) to 480(?) B.C. The son of an Indian warrior-king, Gautama led an extravagant life through early adulthood, reveling in the privileges of his social caste. But when he bored of the indulgences of royal life, Gautama wandered into the world in search of understanding. After encountering an old man, an ill man, a corpse and an ascetic, Gautama was convinced that suffering lay at the end of all existence. He renounced his princely title and became a monk, depriving himself of worldly possessions in the hope of comprehending the truth of the world around him. The culmination of his search came while meditating beneath a tree, where he finally understood how to be free from suffering, and ultimately, to achieve salvation. Following this epiphany, Gautama was known as the Buddha, meaning the "Enlightened One." The Buddha spent the remainder of his life journeying about India, teaching others what he had come to understand.

The Four Noble Truths comprise the essence of Buddha's teachings, though they leave much left unexplained. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. More simply put, suffering exists; it has a cause; it has an end; and it has a cause to bring about its end. The notion of suffering is not intended to convey a negative world view, but rather, a pragmatic perspective that deals with the world as it is, and attempts to rectify it. The concept of pleasure is not denied, but acknowledged as fleeting. Pursuit of pleasure can only continue what is ultimately an unquenchable thirst. The same logic belies an understanding of happiness. In the end, only aging, sickness, and death are certain and unavoidable.

The Four Noble Truths are a contingency plan for dealing with the suffering humanity faces -- suffering of a physical kind, or of a mental nature. The First Truth identifies the presence of suffering. The Second Truth, on the other hand, seeks to determine the cause of suffering. In Buddhism, desire and ignorance lie at the root of suffering. By desire, Buddhists refer to craving pleasure, material goods, and immortality, all of which are wants that can never be satisfied. As a result, desiring them can only bring suffering. Ignorance, in comparison, relates to not seeing the world as it actually is. Without the capacity for mental concentration and insight, Buddhism explains, one's mind is left undeveloped, unable to grasp the true nature of things. Vices, such as greed, envy, hatred and anger, derive from this ignorance.

The Third Noble Truth, the truth of the end of suffering, has dual meaning, suggesting either the end of suffering in this life, on earth, or in the spiritual life, through achieving Nirvana. When one has achieved Nirvana, which is a transcendent state free from suffering and our worldly cycle of birth and rebirth, spiritual enlightenment has been reached. The Fourth Noble truth charts the method for attaining the end of suffering, known to Buddhists as the Noble Eightfold Path. The steps of the Noble Eightfold Path are Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Moreover, there are three themes into which the Path is divided: good moral conduct (Understanding, Thought, Speech); meditation and mental development (Action, Livelihood, Effort), and wisdom or insight (Mindfulness and Concentration).

Contrary to what is accepted in contemporary society, the Buddhist interpretation of karma does not refer to preordained fate. Karma refers to good or bad actions a person takes during her lifetime. Good actions, which involve either the absence of bad actions, or actual positive acts, such as generosity, righteousness, and meditation, bring about happiness in the long run. Bad actions, such as lying, stealing or killing, bring about unhappiness in the long run. The weight that actions carry is determined by five conditions: frequent, repetitive action; determined, intentional action; action performed without regret; action against extraordinary persons; and action toward those who have helped one in the past. Finally, there is also neutral karma, which derives from acts such as breathing, eating or sleeping. Neutral karma has no benefits or costs.

Karma plays out in the Buddhism cycle of rebirth. There are six separate planes into which any living being can be reborn -- three fortunate realms, and three unfortunate realms. Those with favorable, positive karma are reborn into one of the fortunate realms: the realm of demigods, the realm of gods, and the realm of men. While the demigods and gods enjoy gratification unknown to men, they also suffer unceasing jealousy and envy. The realm of man is considered the highest realm of rebirth. Humanity lacks some of the extravagances of the demigods and gods, but is also free from their relentless conflict. Similarly, while inhabitants of the three unfortunate realms -- of animals, ghosts and hell -- suffer untold suffering, the suffering of the realm of man is far less.

The realm of man also offers one other aspect lacking in the other five planes, an opportunity to achieve enlightenment, or Nirvana. Given the sheer number of living things, to be born human is to Buddhists a precious chance at spiritual bliss, a rarity that one should not forsake.

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Basics of Buddhism - PBS

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JAPANESE BUDDHISM – Onmark Productions

Posted: May 26, 2015 at 1:48 am


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HOME Online Since 1995 BUDDHISM & SHINTISM IN JAPAN A-TO-Z PHOTO DICTIONARY OF JAPANESE RELIGIOUS SCULPTURE & ARTVIDEO of site author explaining Ni iconography (Oct. 2013) VIDEO of site author exploring Buddhist treasures (April 16, 2013) INTERVIEW with site author (Japan Times, August 7, 2010)

This photo library and dictionary is a labor of love. After moving to Kamakura in 1993, I became intrigued by the many deities and faces of Japanese Buddhism and Shintism. There are dozens of Buddhist temples and Shint shrines near my home, many dating from the 8th to 13th centuries, many open to the public. There are 400+ deities in this dictionary, and 4,000+ photos of statuary from Kamakura, Nara, Kyoto, and elsewhere in Japan. Use the search box to search in English, Japanese, Chinese, or Korean for deities not listed at left. Any mistakes or omissions at this site are my responsibility. Please contact me if you discover any. In July 2006, I launched the online store and gallery Buddhist-Artwork.com. It sells quality hand-carved wood Buddha statues and Bodhisattva statuary from Japan, China, and SE Asia. It is aimed at art lovers, Buddhist practitioners, and laity alike.

WHATS NEW (Sept. 2014) Mt. Tiantai Art (110 pix) Zodiac & 28 Moon Lodges Hina Dolls & Scapegoats Medicine Buddha (50 pix) Videos on Buddhism Seven Luckies Revisited Star Worship in Japan Korean Buddhism (280 pix) Modern Artists (35 pix) Benzaiten (260 pix) Medieval Art in Japan Tanuki (175 pix) Becoming a Shrine Priest Bishamonten (80 pix) Daruma & Zen (80+ pix) Kappa Revisited (31 pix) Baku - Nightmare Eater Shki - Demon Queller Kannon Guide (130+ pix) Jiz Handbook (90+ pix) CHINA RELATED Longmen | Ni | Shitenn

Fourth, this project was prompted by a dissatisfaction with existing literature on Japanese Buddhist statuary. I still visit book stores and libraries hunting for the perfect English handbook on Japanese Buddhist sculpture. But I must admit, I have yet to find anything that satisfies me. Mountains of publications are out there. Many are aimed at the scholarly community, devoted to hyper-specialized topics, and extremely academic (thus "indecipherable" to the lay community). Another wellspring of information comes from museums, curators, art historians, and collectors. While lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogs and glossy art magazines are much appreciated and easier to read, these publications tend to ignore the religious underpinnings of Asian art. Instead of providing a broad historical view of the statue and its significance as a living icon, they tend to emphasize a piecemeal "bite-size" approach involving aesthetics, dating and provenance, technique, material, genre, and style. A third copious source of information comes from temples, practitioners, spiritualists, and independent web bloggers. Their publications are written for the general public but suffer from too much preaching, promoting, fabrication, self-interest, inconsistency, inaccuracy, and just plain "unreadability."

Dont get me wrong. There are excellent resources (see bibliography) out there by scholars and art historians, but yet I'm unsatisfied. The best of the lot, in my mind, are the books entitled Sculpture of the Kamakura Period (by Hisashi Mori, 1974), Portraits of Chgen: The Transformation of Buddhist Art in Early Medieval Japan (by John M. Rosenfield, 2010), and Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art from 1600 to 2005 (by Patricia Graham, 2007). As for online resources, the Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System (JAANUS) is by far the best digital dictionary devoted to Japanese art. It contains English definitions for over eight thousand Japanese terms related to religious sculpture, architecture and gardens, painting, ceramics, textiles, metalwork, and art-historical iconography. Another monumental work is the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism or DDB (log in with user name = guest). This online dictionary contains English definitions for over sixty thousand Chinese terms (as of May 2013), along with pronunciations in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The DDB is also linked to the SAT Taish Shinsh Daizky (a digitized & searchable version of the Buddhist canon). Together they represent an invaluable reference work for Buddhist studies.

The study of Japanese religions and religious art has expanded greatly in the West over the past five decades. Until the 1960s, the field was populated mostly by college teachers and museum curators interested in collecting, but they had little or no training in Asian languages. Today the field is rooted firmly in Asian language sources and is highly specialized, with most universities emphasizing cult-specific, site-specific, ritual-specific, and deity-specific studies. These changes have deepened the discipline enormously, despite the tendency of hyper-specialization to narrow the outlook.

Thus I began in 1995 with my first digital camera, along with the help of my scanner. Ive been digging around ever since. This site is my tribute to Japanese Buddhist sculpture and, to a lesser degree, Shint art. It is written for scholars, art historians, practitioners, and laity alike, and attempts to remedy the dissatisfactions I mention above. Finally, let me express my gratitude and thanks to all the fine people, temples, shrines, museums, web sites, books, magazines, and other resources that have contributed to this ongoing project.

TIMELINE

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JAPANESE BUDDHISM - Onmark Productions

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May 26th, 2015 at 1:48 am

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An Introduction to Buddhism

Posted: May 18, 2015 at 4:25 am


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An Introduction to Buddhism

To do no evil;

To cultivate good;

To purify one's mind:

This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

--The Dhammapada

The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree.

On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one.

The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be...

Impermanent are all created things;

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An Introduction to Buddhism

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May 18th, 2015 at 4:25 am

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Timeline for development and spread of Buddhism (BBEP App promo) – Video

Posted: May 5, 2015 at 11:44 am


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Timeline for development and spread of Buddhism (BBEP App promo)
Published by Buddha #39;s Birthday Education Project (BBEP) http://www.paradeofthebuddhas.org/ BBEP app highlights the development and spread of Buddhism in beautiful paintings. To download...

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Timeline for development and spread of Buddhism (BBEP App promo) - Video

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May 5th, 2015 at 11:44 am

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Buddhism For Beginners (Part 1: The Buddha & The Three Jewels) – Video

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Buddhism For Beginners (Part 1: The Buddha The Three Jewels)
What is up! Thanks to your feedback online, this week we #39;ll be starting a new Mini-Series on one of my favorite most respected world philosophies, Buddhism! I #39;ll be giving you guys a brief...

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Buddhism For Beginners (Part 1: The Buddha & The Three Jewels) - Video

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May 5th, 2015 at 11:44 am

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Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism – Video

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Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism
Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism.

By: The Voice OF Buddhism For Peace

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Sumpreme Buddha Story | Morality of buddhism - Video

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May 5th, 2015 at 11:44 am

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buddhism project – Video

Posted: April 30, 2015 at 11:42 pm


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buddhism project

By: Caitlen Moser

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buddhism project - Video

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April 30th, 2015 at 11:42 pm

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Spring Benefit Concert: Won Buddhism of Manhattan – Video

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Spring Benefit Concert: Won Buddhism of Manhattan
Come join us for a day of exquisite music and wonderful food as we raise money to support the Manhattan Won Buddhist Temple. http://nyc.wonbuddhism.org/

By: WonBuddhism Manhattan

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Spring Benefit Concert: Won Buddhism of Manhattan - Video

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April 30th, 2015 at 12:46 am

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Ajahn Jayasaro: Buddhism in Brief – Video

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Ajahn Jayasaro: Buddhism in Brief
Ajahn Jayasaro gives a brief introduction and overview of Buddhism. This an mp3 audio-only presentation.

By: UWE STOES

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Ajahn Jayasaro: Buddhism in Brief - Video

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April 30th, 2015 at 12:46 am

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