lectures of buddhism

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 7 months ago #29891 by RyuJin
lectures of buddhism was created by RyuJin
this thread is where i will begin posting short lectures about buddhism. much of what i shall post comes from various sources including 'the roots of wisdom' by helen mitchell, as well as conversations with members of the Ratnashri Sangha here in my home state. there will be other sources as well.

well now to get things started

Buddhism Lecture 1

Siddartha Guatama, a.k.a. Sakyamuni (sage of the sakya tribe)or more commonly The Buddha

Born in approximately 563 bce to the Guatama family, a warrior caste in India and devout hindus, Siddartha lived a sheltered life free from the concerns of death and sickness. At 19 he married his cousin Yasodhara and fathered a son Rahula. In his 20’s he renounced his fortune and family and left out into the world. Having been sheltered he was shocked and saddened to see sickness, suffering, and death during his travels through the Ganges River Valley as a begging monk. He set out to find the meaning of these things.

He lived as an ascetic, punishing his body and eating only enough to stay alive, but found this did not bring him peace of mind. It was said that he had fasted to the point that when he sucked his stomach and touched his navel he could feel his backbone, this begs the question of where the image of the fat Buddha comes from.

According to tradition his enlightenment came when he sat under the bodhi (wisdom) tree on the night of a full moon, resolving not to move until he had found the answers to the riddles of life. It was during this that he came to realize that life is characterized by changes, and that change is the clue to suffering.

We suffer because we desire and are attached to things we want to fix in place and hold onto. Youth, health, family, we want to keep these things in a permanent state of perfection. It is by accepting the impermanence and detaching ourselves that we can become enlightened – seeing things as they really are.

By 200ce Buddhism incorporated many elements of Chinese culture. In China it also blended with Taoism to form Ch’an or as it’s known in Japan, Zen. Over the years several more forms emerged bringing together elements of various cultures from around the world.

Next time the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Amaya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 7 months ago #30041 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Re:lectures of buddhism
Lecture 2

In the last lecture I gave a little background information about the founder of Buddhism, Siddartha Guatama. In this lecture I’ll go over his revelation which is known as the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path.

The first noble truth Buddha realized was : there is suffering. He made this realization after leaving the protective atmosphere of his family home and seeing death and suffering for the first time.

The second noble truth he found was: there is a cause of suffering. Whether its loss, fear of loss, or desire there are many causes for suffering. No one suffers without reason.

The third noble truth was: there is the cessation (ending) of suffering. No matter what causes our suffering there is a way of relieving it.

The final noble truth Buddha realized was: there is the eightfold path leading to the cessation of suffering. By following the eightfold path we have a guide to show us the way to free ourselves from suffering.

The first step on the path is: Right view; meaning being able to see things as they really are by seeing this and accepting it we can live in tune with the truth and free ourselves from suffering or we can deny it and set ourselves up for suffering.

The second step is: Right Intention; doing what is right and good helps alleviate suffering. By helping others we help ourselves. When help is reciprocal without thought of reward we are rewarded.

The third step is: Right Speech; by not saying negative things we prevent suffering. Negative speech brings negative feelings, negative feelings bring suffering.

The fourth step is: Right Action; negative actions bring about death and suffering. By doing what is right and good we prevent suffering.

The fifth step is: Right Means of Livelihood; by living within your means you prevent suffering. Many people suffer because they want more then they can afford. Money does not bring true happiness.

The sixth step is: Right Effort; by putting forth the effort of following the path we alleviate suffering.

The seventh step is: Right Mindfulness; by keeping ourselves focused on the moment we are free of suffering. When one thinks too much on the future or the past negative emotions can arise which leads to suffering.

The eighth step is: Right Concentration; by properly meditating on the truth we can break the cycle of suffering.

These concepts can easily translate into Jediism, and can even carry over into other religions.

Next time a brief overview of the various forms of Buddhism.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Amaya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 7 months ago #30289 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Re:lectures of buddhism
Lecture 3
Branches of Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism: is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice. It was founded in India. The name \"Mahayana\" is used in three main senses:
1. As a living tradition, Mahayana is the larger of the two major traditions of Buddhism existing today, the other being Theravada. This classification is largely undisputed by all Buddhist schools.
2. According to the Mahayana method of classification of Buddhist philosophies, \"Mahayana\" refers to a level of spiritual motivation (also known as \"Bodhisattvayna\"). According to this classification, the alternative approach is called \"H+nayna\", or \"Zravakayna\". Mahayana in this sense is also recognized by Theravada Buddhism, but is not considered very relevant for practice.
3. According to the Vajrayna scheme of classification of practice paths, Mahayana refers to one of the three routes to enlightenment, the other two being H+nayna and Vajrayna. This classification is a teaching of Vajrayna Buddhism and is not recognized by Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
Although the Mahayana movement traces its origin to Gautama Buddha, scholars believe that it originated in India in the 1st century CE, or the 1st century BCE. Scholars hold that Mahayana only became a mainstream movement in India in the fifth century CE, since that is when Mahayanist inscriptions started to appear in epigraphic records in India. Before the 11th century CE (while Mahayana was still present in India), the Mahayana sutras were still in the process of being revised. Thus, several different versions may have survived of the same sutra. These different versions are invaluable to scholars attempting to reconstruct the history of Mahayana.
In the course of its history, Mahayana spread throughout East Asia. The main countries in which it is practiced today are Ladakh (Republic of India), Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The main schools of Mahayana Buddhism today are Pure Land, Zen (Chan), Nichiren Buddhism, Shingon, Tibetan Buddhism and Tendai. The latter three schools have both Mahayana and Vajrayna practice traditions.

Theravada Buddhism: literally, \"the Teaching of the Elders\" or \"the Ancient Teaching\", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India. It is relatively conservative, and generally closest to early Buddhism, and for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka (about 70% of the population) and most of continental Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand). Theravada is also practiced by minorities in parts of southwest China (by the Shan and Tai ethnic groups), Vietnam (by the Khmer Krom), Bangladesh (by the ethnic groups of Baruas, Chakma, and Magh), Malaysia and Indonesia, while recently gaining popularity in Singapore and the Western World. Today Theravada Buddhists number over 100 million worldwide, and in recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West and in the Buddhist revival in India.
Zen Buddhism: is a school of Mahayana Buddhism, translated from the Chinese word Chán to Japanese. This word is in turn derived from the Sanskrit dhyna, which means \"meditation\"
Zen emphasizes experiential prajñ, particularly as realized in the form of meditation, in the attainment of enlightenment. As such, it de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct, experiential realization through meditation and dharma practice.
The establishment of Zen is traditionally credited to be in China, the Shaolin Temple, by the South Indian Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma, who came to China to teach a \"special transmission outside scriptures\" which \"did not stand upon words\". The emergence of Zen as a distinct school of Buddhism was first documented in China in the 7th century AD. It is thought to have developed as an amalgam of various currents in Mahayana Buddhist thought—among them the Yogcra and Mdhyamaka philosophies and the Prajñpramit literature—and of local traditions in China, particularly Taoism and Huáyán Buddhism. From China Zen subsequently spread south to Vietnam, and east to Korea and Japan.

Pure Land: also referred to as Amidism in English, is a broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism and currently one of the most popular schools of Buddhism in East Asia, along with Zen (Chinese: Ch'an). In Chinese Buddhism, most monks practice it in combination with Chán or other practices. It is a devotional or \"faith\"-oriented branch of Buddhism focused on Amitbha Buddha. The term is used to describe both the Pure Land soteriology of Mahayana Buddhism, which may be better understood as Pure Land traditions, and the Pure Land sects that developed in Japan: Pure Land Buddhism became a distinct sect/school in the Japanese medieval period (13th century, Kamakura period); in other countries and times, it formed part of the basis of Mahayana Buddhist traditions.
Pure Land oriented practices and concepts are found within basic Mahayana Buddhist cosmology, and form an important component of the Mahayana Buddhist traditions in China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Tibet. Chinese Chan and Tiantai schools, as well as the Japanese Shingon and Tendai sects have strong Pure Land components to their practice and belief. However, Pure Land Buddhism eventually became an independent school in its own right as can be seen in the Japanese JMdo Shk and JMdo Shinshk schools. In Japan there are several Pure Land sects, but throughout the history of Mahayana Buddhism there was never an independent Pure Land sect in other Mahayana countries.
One basic Mahayana concept is that Nirvana (liberation, awakening, salvation) has become increasingly difficult to attain as we move away from the time of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. Surprisingly similar concepts also exist among the Theravada schools. Pure Land teachings emphasize though that through devotion to Amitbha Buddha and looking towards Amida Buddha for guidance one can be reborn in the Pure Land of that Buddha, which is a perfect realm in which enlightenment is guaranteed.
The Pure Land Path has been popular among both commoners and elite monastics as it provided a straightforward way of attaining awakening. In medieval Japan it was especially popular among those on the outskirts of society, such as prostitutes and social outcasts who, though often denied salvation by the mainstream traditions, were able to find solace in the newly formed Pure Land sect. It should be borne in mind that in no way does Pure Land Buddhism contradict other Buddhist traditions, inasmuch as Amida is not to be thought of in any sense as a God or a deity. The concept of a supreme being, as a world creator and deciding the fate of beings is contrary to Buddhist teaching in all traditions.

continued next time. it's quite a bit of information so i decided to break it in half, even then it's only the tip of the iceberg as there are many more schools of thought.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 7 months ago #30290 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Re:lectures of buddhism
Lecture 3 continued

Vajrayna: is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayna, Mantrayna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle. The period of Vajrayna Buddhism has been classified as the fifth or final period of Indian Buddhism. Vajrayna is a complex and multifaceted system which evolved over several centuries and reveals much inconsistency and a variety of opinions. Vajrayna probably came into existence in the 6th or 7th century CE, while the term Vajrayna first came into evidence in the 8th century CE. Its scriptures are called the Tantras. The distinctive feature of Vajrayna Buddhism is ritual, which is used as a substitute or alternative for the earlier abstract meditations.
Vajrayna scriptures say that Vajrayna refers to one of three routes to enlightenment, the other two being H+nayna and Mahayana.

Shingon: is one of the mainstream major schools of Japanese Buddhism and one of the few surviving Esoteric Buddhist lineages that started in India from the third to fourth century C.E that spread to China, Korea and Japan. It is often called \"Japanese Esoteric Buddhism\", or \"Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism\". The word Shingon is the Japanese reading of the Kanji for the Chinese word Zhnyán, literally meaning \"True Words\", which in turn is the Chinese translation of the Sanskrit word Mantra.
There are very few books on Shingon in the West and until the 1940s, not a single book on Shingon had ever been published anywhere in the world, not even in Japan. Since this lineage was brought over to Japan from Tang Dynasty China over 1,100 years ago, its doctrines have always been closely guarded secrets, passed down orally through an initiatic chain and never written down. Throughout the centuries, except for the initiated, most of the Japanese common folk knew little about its secretive doctrines and the monks of this \"Mantra School\" except that besides performing the usual priestly duties of prayers, blessings and funeral rites for the public, they practiced only MikkyM, literally \"secret ways\" in stark contrast to all other Buddhist schools and were called upon to perform mystical rituals that could summon rain, improve harvests, exorcise demons, avert natural disasters, heal the sick and protect the state. The most powerful ones could even render entire armies useless. Even though the Tendai School also contains esoteric teachings in its doctrines, it is still essentially an esoteric Mahayana school at its core. Shingon's teachings are purely esoteric and are in all likelihood also the most secretive Buddhist teachings in the world. As such, in-depth academic study will continue to prove difficult as it had been in the past and it will probably always be the least understood Buddhist tradition in the West.

Nichiren: is a branch of Buddhism based on the teachings of the 13th century Japanese monk Nichiren (1222–1282). Various forms of Nichiren Buddhism have had great influence among certain sections of Japanese society at different times in the country's history, such as among the merchants of Kyoto in Japan's Middle Ages and among some ultranationalists during the pre-World War II era. Nichiren Buddhism is generally noted for its focus on the Lotus Sutra and an attendant belief that all people have an innate Buddha nature and are therefore inherently capable of attaining enlightenment in their current form and present lifetime. It is also noted for positioning itself in opposition to other forms of Japanese Buddhism—in particular the Zen, Pure Land, esoteric, Shingon, and Ritsu schools, which Nichiren saw as deviating from the orthodoxy of Mahayana Buddhism. Nichiren Buddhism is a comprehensive term covering several major schools and many sub-schools, as well as several of Japan's new religions. An evangelical streak is evinced by some schools' practice of shakubuku, efforts to convert others by refuting their current beliefs and convincing them of the validity of Nichiren's teachings. Nichiren Buddhists believe that the spread of Nichiren's teachings and their effect on practitioners' lives will eventually bring about a peaceful, just, and prosperous society.

next time: forms of meditation.

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 6 months ago #30781 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Re:lectures of buddhism
Forms of Meditation

while doing research for this lesson, i happened to discover a great many more meditative forms then i knew of myself. therefore rather then making a lecture of it i will post 3 forms each week until i've covered all my new discoveries.

Healing Meditation:
Sit in a comfortable position

Start to imagine that your body is slowly filling with light, starting from the feet and slowly moving upwards

As the light is moving up your body
feel that this light is relaxing the muscles and your mind.

Now imagine that any areas of disease or pain in your body is surrounded by a dark shadow which represents the unhealthy area.

I feel the light moving upwards until my entire body is filled with light and every muscle of my body is feeling relaxed.

Now feel that your body of light is radiating the light out from your eyes, the light is shining as if a torch is shinning out from your eyes.

Now feel that you are directing the light towards any area of the body that is giving you pain or discomfort, represented as a shadow on your body.

Feel that you are sending extra light to this area that is in pain or discomfort.

Imagine that the diseased or painful areas have dark shadows surrounding it.

Now feel that you are shinning a loving healing light to the diseased or painful areas so that the darkness is removed.

I radiate my shining light to my body and fill my bodies with this warm healing light.

I now radiate this healing light to the world.

I begin to feel that this healing light is returning me to health and vitality

Perfect health is available to me now.

I sit in a comfortable position
And I begin to feel my mind relaxing
I forget the past
And my imagined future
Now it is time to focus
On my own well being
And I visualize myself stepping out of my physical body
And feel my self being up above
And looking down on my physical body
And I begin to feel myself
Radiating a healing golden light
To myself
And I focus this golden light onto my heart
And I now feel this light radiating
And following the heart thru to all the veins and arteries
And I visualize this golden light
Going to the heart and filling Every vein with golden healing light
And I feel and see this golden healing light flowing through every part of my physical body
And everywhere that this light touches it is healing and rejuvenating
and it feels very positive

It is cleaning away toxins and injecting new life and energy
Into my physical body
Because I love my self
And I want to experience health and happiness
And now I focus in on the stomach
And I send a golden green light
To relax and heal the stomach
And I see the light being absorbed
Into the body
And becoming light energy
And filling the body with this golden green light
And it is transforming the light into energy
My body is filled with this golden energy
And healing every part of my being
And my body is filled with this golden healing light
And now I send blue light
To all the other organs
And I feel this blue light
Healing them and filling my body with this beautiful relaxing blue light
And I talk to this body filled wit blue golden light and I say
That I care for you, and I will heal you
Because I love you
Because you are the chariot for my soul
And with this blue golden light it removes all
Toxins and any negative energies
And I see my body as being healthy
In the present and in the future
And I radiate out this blue golden healing light
To the whole world
And wish good health and happiness from me to every person in the world

Mindfulness Meditation:
Equipping individuals to deal with stressful situations by accepting them and being aware of them, Mindfulness Meditation is an effective and miraculous technique of meditation against life’s problems and situations.

True, stress, anger, disappointments, frustrations, and other negative emotions adversely affect our minds and even bodies. Such negative emotions and actions should be dealt effectively and set-backs should be accepted without injuring our health. Mindfulness Meditation is that medicine which helps to deal with negative emotions and situations in the most effective manner.

Mindfulness Meditation, also referred to as Insightful Meditation, requires or allows individuals to be aware of their surroundings, to develop a sense of sensitivity in perceiving every moment, and enabling them to accept stressful situations, instead of avoiding them. By being aware of the inner state of our minds during Mindfulness Meditation, we can accept difficult situations in our lives without much resistance.

Through the practise of Meditation, we can train our minds to achieve a state of tranquillity, without being disturbed by outside forces. Mindfulness Meditation helps in training and developing the strengths of the mind to achieve this peacefulness.

One can practise Mindfulness Meditation by sitting in an appropriate upright position, cross-legged, and focussing on our breath or anything else, such as mental and physical processes which help us in becoming aware of our present thought patterns and inner state.

The practice of Mindfulness Meditation focuses our attention on our thoughts, actions, and present moments non-judgmentally. It does not encourage evaluating or thinking on our past actions and neither does it take our thoughts to the uncertain future. Mindfulness Meditation helps and trains our mind from getting distracted by outside disturbances and enables us to focus our thoughts and relax the mind.

Mindfulness Meditation can be conducted or practised through informal and formal techniques. While formal Mindfulness Meditation involves Yoga, in which there is a control and awareness of breathing patterns with appropriate body movements, informal Mindfulness Meditation includes taking into account each experience in life with relish and enjoyment.

Mindfulness Meditation is a technique of introspection or insight through which we can obtain a clear picture of our thoughts and inner states, focus our thoughts, and even train our mind to perceive things and situations more effectively.

Buddhist Breath Meditation:
Buddhist breath meditation one. Start out with three or seven long in-and-out breaths, thinking bud- with the in-breath and dho with the out. Keep the meditation syllable as long as the breath.

Buddhist breath meditation two : Be clearly aware of each in-and-out breath during this meditation.

Buddhist breath meditation three : Observe the breath as it goes in and out, noticing whether it's comfortable or uncomfortable, broad or narrow, obstructed or free-flowing, fast or slow, short or long, warm or cool. If the breath doesn't feel comfortable, change it until it does. For instance, if
breathing in long and out long is uncomfortable, try breathing in short and out short. As soon as you find that your breathing feels comfortable, let this comfortable breath sensation spread to the different parts of the body.

To begin with, inhale the breath sensation at the base of the skull and let it flow all the way down the spine. Then, if you are male, let it spread down your right leg to the sole of your foot, to the ends of your toes, and out into the air. Inhale the breath sensation at the
base of the skull again and let it spread down your spine, down your left leg to the ends of your toes and out into the air. (If you are female, begin with the left side first, because the male and female nervous systems are different.)

Then let the breath from the base of the skull spread down over both shoulders, past your elbows and wrists, to the tips of your fingers and out into the air.

Let the breath at the base of the throat spread down the central nerve at the front of the body, past the lungs and liver, all the way down to the bladder and colon.

Inhale the breath right at the middle of the chest and let it go all the way down to your intestines.

Let all these breath sensations spread so that they connect and flow together, and you'll feel a greatly improved sense of well-being.

Buddhist breath meditation four : Learn four ways of adjusting the breath:
a. in long and out long
b. in short and out short,
c. in short and out long,
d. in long and out short.

Breathe whichever way is most comfortable for you. Or, better yet, learn to breathe comfortably all four ways, because your physical condition and your breath are always changing.

Buddhist breath meditation five : Become acquainted with the bases or focal points of the mind--the resting spots of the breath--and center your awareness on whichever one seems most comfortable. A few of these bases are:
a. the tip of the nose,
b. the middle of the head,
c. the palate,
d. the base of the throat,
e. the breastbone (the tip of the sternum),
f. the navel (or a point just above it).

If you suffer from frequent headaches or nervous problems, don't focus on any spot above the base of the throat. And don't try to force the breath or put yourself into a trance. Breathe freely and naturally. Let the mind be at ease with the breath--but not to the point where it slips away.

Buddhist breath meditation six : Spread your awareness--your sense of conscious feeling--throughout the entire body.

Buddhist breath meditation seven : Coordinate the breath sensations throughout the body, letting them flow together comfortably, keeping your awareness as broad as possible.

May your Meditation bring you inner peace and harmony.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Amaya

Please Log in to join the conversation.

  • RyuJin
  • Topic Author
  • Offline
  • Master
  • The Path of Ignorance is Paved with Fear
13 years 6 months ago #31194 by RyuJin
Replied by RyuJin on topic Re:lectures of buddhism
Buddhist Rituals

Prostration:In the prostrations, five parts of the body touch the ground. These five body parts include the two palms, the two knees and the forehead, signifying the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space. The other interpretations of the protestations symbolize the five wisdoms emanating from the five Buddha families and the five Buddha energies.

Folded Hands:As a student performs these, he surrenders himself to the Buddhas of past, present, future and ten directions. The folded hands also connote a deeper meaning as a part of the Buddhist rituals. The touching of the ten fingers with each other symbolizes the ten directions. The right hand represents the male, active, yang energy, while the left hand represents the female, receptive, yin energy. When both of them join, they epitomize the Buddha's enlightening activity of upayakaushalya.

Placing Flowers & lighing candles at the feet of the Buddha:the placing of flowers and the lighting of candles and incense before a Buddha-image or some other symbol of the presence of the Buddha, monks chant together and the lay family offers a prayer. The flowers, beautiful one moment and wilted the next, remind the offerers of the impermanence of life; the odor of the incense calls to their mind the sweet scent of moral virtue that emanates from those who are devout; the candle-flame symbolizes enlightenment.

The offering of food:The central daily rite of lay Buddhism is the offering of food. Theravada laity make this offering to the monks. Mahayana laity make it to the Buddha as part of the morning or evening worship. In both settings merit is shared.

Weekly Observance:The weekly Observance Day rituals at the Theravada monastery are opportunities for both laity and monks to quicken faith, discipline, and understanding, and make and share merit. On these days, twice each month, the monks change and reaffirm the code of discipline. On all of these days, they administer the Eight Precepts to the gathered laity, the laity repeating them after the monks and offer a sermon on the Dharma. The monks pour water to transfer merit to the laity; the laity pour water to share this merit with their ancestors.

Monthly Observance:Zen monks twice each month gather in the Buddha-hall of their head temple and chant for the welfare of the Japanese people. Pure Land Buddhist congregate at the temple once each week to praise Amida

Please Log in to join the conversation.