A buddhist friend of mine in Sri Lanka, Anil held a lesson about Buddhism for me in Skype. This page is based on that lesson. He helped me to get an idea what Buddhism is and to navigate around in all the Buddhist sites around. I created this page as a Buddhist mind map where I can come back to find details. The page is still not a final version, It may even contain errors.
- Sri Lanka
- Siddharta Gautama
- Buddhism school varieties
- Lotus – the national flower of India
- Four stages of liberation
- A manual of abhidhamma
- Samsara – the Wheel of life
- Eightfold_Path to Enlightment
- Buddhist meditation_methods
- Dagoba – SriLanka-pyramids
- Buddhism_is no religion
- Buddhists_believe in God?
- Travel in Buddhist Tibet
- Mongol Ogotai built Karakorum with stupas
- Buddhism and Christianity
- The Role of Women in Buddhism
- Buddhist sources
Lanka has been part of Buddhist history from the earliest days and is today the culture with the longest continuing tradition of Buddhist practice. (Source)
Stupa temple in Kalutara where many buddhists go to meditateGautama Buddha attained enlightenment (bodhi)
while meditating underneath a Ficus religiosa in Bihar, India.
Bodhi tree Ficus religiosa in Sri Lanka
A branch of the original tree was rooted in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka in 288 BCE and is known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi; it is the oldest flowering plant (angiosperm) in the world. Read more in The Kalutara Bodhi Trust.
Good lesson about Buddhism by James Powel (from about 4:33)
Einstein said “if there is any religion that could respond tho the need of modern science, that wuold be Buddhism” (Source: https://www.quora.com )
Buddhism is a world religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of Siddh?rtha Gautama[note 1] who was deemed a “Buddha” (“Awakened One”). Buddhism spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha’s lifetime. (Source: wiki)
The buddhist flag
World-famous Buddhas of Bamiyan resurrected in Afghanistan
” Most accept that he lived, taught and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara (c.?558 – c.?491 BCE, or c. 400 BCE), the ruler of the Magadha empire, and died during the early years of the reign of the successor of Bimbisara”. (Source: wiki)
Read more at http://www.notablebiographies.com/Br-Ca/Buddha.html
“Therav?da is only one of eighteen plus schools of Buddhism that precedes Mahayana. As the only surviving representative of that variety of Buddhism in the world today (primarily in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand), Theravada is certainly the most dominant.” (Source: Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies )
“Great Vehicle”to reach Buddhahood
“vehicle of the hearers”
a branch of Mahayana.
known as “Indian Buddhism”
Early disciples of Buddha who Follow the Hinayana path to reach “Arahant“/”Arhat”
“the early vehicle of the hearers”
a branch of Mahayana
with Hindu influences
“teaching of the elders”
school of the elder monks.
Thunderbolt Vehicle The Buddhism of Dalai Lama
Taoism = Zen – Buddhism – Konfucianism
Buddhism offers a way to eliminate factors in the subconscious that cause suffering. In fact a psychoanalytic approach. if you clean up your subconscious from these, you reach Nirvana and wont have to rebirth after death. Of course this is very difficult but is a goal for every practicing Buddhist.
According to Sutta Pitaka the second division in the book Pali Canon these are there four planes of liberation
accordding to Source: Ñ??amoli & Bodhi (2001), “Middle-Length Discourses”, pp. 41-43.abhidhamma
“Samsara in Buddhism refers to the cycle of life, which includes
- death and
- returning to life.
The term can be literally translated as “continuous movement.” Samsara is the continually repeating cycle of birth and death, where beings cycle through six realms of existence. This concept is closely related to the ideas of karma and Nirvana.”
“Your personality exists in your present life, and some aspects of it are passed on to the next life. You are similar to, but not exactly the same as, your previous self”
(Source: https://buddhists.org )
“Karma is the Buddhist version of the law of cause and effect. It teaches that whatever you reap in life is what you sow. ”
( Source: https://buddhists.org )
“Nirvana is the eternal state of being where Karma and Samsara no longer exist. It represents the end of desire, suffering and individual consciousness. Until Nirvana is reached through enlightenment, the cycle of Samsara is repeated over and over. ” (Source: https://buddhists.org ) Nirvana is maybe reached when you after many years of meditation practice, reach the full enlightment “arahant” status in the four stages of Liberation
Arahant (as written in Pali, and Arhat as written in Sanscrit are buddhists who have reached Nirvana and therefore wont live a rebirth. These buddhists have reached far along the path of Enlightenment, but may not have reached full Buddhahood, the goal of Mahayana buddhists
Buddha and 400 Arahant statues in Shanyuan Temple (???), Liaoning Province, China. (Source: wiki)
(Source Site on reddit.com with enlarged image )
Before looking at meditation methods, I recommend to take a look at the Eightfold path to enlightment above. One must know that meditation alone is not enough to reach enlightment. In between your meditation sessions you need to follow these eight paths. Click on the eigth path image above learn to learn about these.
Your life is like climbing a mountain. If you do not take care of your body and mind you get disoriented and fatigued making it more difficult to reach the top of the mountain.
- Approach to deal with suffering
According to Dalai Lama one of the most effective approach to deal with suffering is found in A Guide To The Bodhisattva’s Way Of Life ( “The good heart: a Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus “page 54 )
I have tried different kinds of meditation. I have followed guided meditation sessions in two mobile Android apps:
- Insight timer
I am actually practicing Hatha yoga at my gymn. You can read about different yoga types in www.doyogawithme.com/types-of-yoga. The Buddhist meditation is very different. I It is like driving a car, knowing how the car works and knowing where I am going with my car.
I like very much the recomendations of the Tibetan monk Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. He made meditation easier for me.
HINT! Click on the Youtube to listen to it from there. If you do it Rinpoches other videos follow. Sit down an start looking at this first Rinpoche video. Viewed in Youtube more video follows authomathically in Youtube, explaining various aspects of Buddhist Yoga, like happiness, awareness, anxiety, awareness etc.
Very good guided online meditations by teacher I followed are found at http://buddhistpage.com/meditation/meditation-by-teacher/ like this one below led by Ajan Brahm.
Comments about it: when I were interrupted by sounds outside my apartment, I reminded myself about breathing (Rinpoches learned me that in the previous video and I went back doing this several times. During the minutes of silence in the videos I were catched talking with my mind, (something that is recommended not to do in the video below as you have to stay in the present). So again I had to go back with breathing and leave talking with my mind. I felt marveleously relaxed after this video. (HINT: you may skip the first 3 minutes)
Cosmic energy and where to meditate
MY good friend in Sri Lanka recommended me these explaining practice Youtube videos. You can optimize the results of your meditation following these Sri Lankan meditation advices.
“About the cosmic energy and its value
Spiritual Reality – Part 1 Cosmic Energy and Meditation
Spiritual Reality – Part 3 Pyramid and Pyramid Power
MerriamWebsters rdefine religion t like this
“a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices”
In Merriam Websters, Buddhism is one of many religions:
any people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis.There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism. ( Source: Merriam Websters )
According to my Sri Lanka friend, Buddhism is not a religion but a philosophy.
Here are a few citations from
“Buddhism is still considered to be a religion by the majority of the public”
“Buddhism does have religious aspects.”
“The most “religious” aspects of Buddhism are probably the Buddha’s discussions of the afterlife and the various realms of existence.”
“Buddhism does actually have a clear belief system on the afterlife”
“The Wheel is divided into five or six realms, or states, into which a soul can be reborn. It is held by a demon. Around the rim are depicted the twelve stages of dependent origination. This gallery will explain the parts of the diagram”
( Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/bhavachakra/)
“While the Buddha did discuss some metaphysical aspects of reality that people would often associate with religion, he made it clear that the most important aspect of Buddhism is how you practice, not what you know”
My conclusions so far
Buddhism is in my opinion not a revealing ism with a prophet that regards itself as a messenger of a God. The sacred book Pali Canon is the written teaching of Gautama Siddharta, a human that explored himself the way to enlightment in India.
Buddhism does not impose its own believes, ethics and practices to others. It is not requiring you to abandon any other doctrine. You can be a Zoroastrian, Christian or Muslim while following Buddhist principles and methods. A part from the issue of reincarnations, believes and ethics are non in conflict with Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Reincarnation is not an issue in Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. The Buddhist ethics (like the Eihtfold path) is very much similar to the Zoroastrian and Christian etics.
Some Buddhists believe in God but for Buddhism this is not an important issue. The main focus is on the method even if Buddhists have metaphysic opinions about death and reincarnation.
Looking around in Internet, I found this article that deal with the same question:
Some citations from these articles.
“teacher, Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, used to say that people could practice Zen meditation and also believe in God”
” it is a stretch to call Zen meditation “prayer,” or to describe its purpose as a method “to reach our divine nature.””
Site with good films and photos. http://itibettravel.com/#single/0
I am reading Conn Iggulden “The conqueror serie” the third book “#Empire of Silver” about kahn Ogotai , the grandson of Djenghis Khan who built Karakorum. Ogotai had Christian and Muslim translators for his library and a buddhist advisors Yao Shu as well as chinese engineers. they were religiously tollerant allowing e.g. muslim warriors to take minutes to do their prayer. The buddhist advisor Yao Shu may have been the mind behind the stupas on the surrounding Karakorum wall.
Maybe a cosmic energy was better than high walls to protect the city. Maybe also to protect Ogotai that had a week hearth and died young despite the his Shaman efforts and his brothers sacrifice.
According to the national census of 2010, 53% of the Mongolians identify as Buddhists (wiki note 7)
The buddhist advisor Yao Shu mentioned above did also train the Mongol warriors during all his life. It is remarkable that the Mongol archers were as one body with their horses and arches. They were feared by armies from Asia to Europe. I am curious if Eugen Herrigels book “Zen in the art of archery” from 1958 can tell me something more about this technique.
Can you become a Buddha? (with Jamaican Moojii)
Buddhism like Zoroastrianism gives me metaphysic answers to questions about life and death. But I also learned that Buddhism offers me a method to become a better Christian, not subject to anger, trivial sentiments and desires and to become a better in being humil , loving and tollerant with my next.
I looked around in Internet for similar experiences and found among others these links:
I find it interesting what the author Susan said about her Buddhistic practicing effects.
- “The first is recognizing the importance of a regular prayer practice, by which I mean not only attending Mass or other communal liturgies, but daily time in solitude with God.”
- “The Buddhist teachings on cherishing others over the self helped me embrace Christian humility.”
- “Buddhism was an integral part of my spiritual path.”
TERRY C. MUCK in “Jesus Through Buddhist Eyes- says about Dalai Lama:
“So his book, The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus, merits consideration by Christian readers.”
DI like page 52 about his view on suffering, casuality and on Christian theology.
Dalai Lamatalks about Christian veneration and faith on this page:
I recommend this analysis from Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo
This video tells about the Life of Tibetan Buddhist nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery near Dharamsala
- A very good site with many articles about buddhism
About Theravada Vipassana Meditation
Buddhism for beginners
Guided online meditations by teacher
- Buddhism for childrens with ebooks and dhamma talks
About all kind of Buddhism
- Free Buddhism books