I am interested in buddhism can someone explain to me the basics?

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by neophyte2021, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

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    I am interested in buddhism can someone explain to me the basics?
     
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  2. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi Neophyte,

    There are many different traditions within Buddhism, so it it difficult to give one set of basics that fit all. But, in my opinion, karma and reincarnation are two of the most basic teachings. What do you think of karma and reincarnation?
     
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Hi neophyte202 —

    Basic Buddhism:

    THE THREE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS:
    1. Nothing is lost in the universe;
    2. Everything Changes;
    3. The Law of Karma (Cause and Effect).

    After his enlightenment, the Buddha founded a community, and travelled India spreading the Dharma, his teachings. Key to their teaching was compassion. He encouraged everyone to show compassion in dealing with others, and to develop their own virtue.

    THE THREE TRAININGS OR PRACTICES:
    1. Sila: Virtue, good conduct, morality;
    2. Samadhi: Concentration, meditation, mental development;
    3. Prajna: Discernment, insight, wisdom, enlightenment.

    THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS:
    1. Dukkha: Suffering exists: Life is suffering, it is real and almost universal and has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, and the impermanence of pleasure;
    2. Samudaya: There is a cause of suffering – attachment;
    3. Nirodha: There is an end to suffering – attachment can be overcome. Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana;
    4. Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path.

    THE FIVE PRECEPTS:
    1. Do not kill (do no harm);
    2. Do not steal;
    3. Do not lie;
    4. Do not misuse sex;
    5. Do not consume alcohol (or any other intoxicants).

    THE EIGHTFOLD PATH – the way of Panna – Discernment, wisdom:
    1. Samma ditthi: Right understanding of the Four Noble Truths;
    2. Samma sankappa: Right thinking;
    3. Samma vaca: Right speech;
    4. Samma kammanta: Right conduct or Right action;
    5. Samma ajiva: Right livelihood;
    6. Samma vayama: Right effort;
    7. Samma sati: Right mindfulness;
    8. Samma samadhi: Right Concentration.

    The basic doctrines base on the Four Noble Truths: existence is suffering; suffering has a cause – namely craving and attachment (trishna); there is a cessation of suffering, and there is a path to the cessation of suffering – the Eightfold Path.
     
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  4. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    To @Thomas's and @Nick the Pilot's excellent summaries I would add: devotion to the Three Jewels, also called the Triple Gem: namely the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha (the Buddha, his teachings, and the community of followers).

    And the Three Signs, which Thomas alluded to: Impermanence, not-Self (or Emptiness), and Suffering. Anything at all you examine, for example in meditation, exhibits these characteristics.

    And, in some schools of Buddhism: The perfections (various lists), especially the Perfection of Wisdom.

    And in some schools of Buddhism, devotion to the Bodhisattvas, or Buddhas-to-be, those beings who vowed to help others in attaining to nirvana before doing it themselves.

    If you wish to truly learn about Buddhism, it is strongly advised to find a community. Internet Buddhism is a far cry from the real thing. The aspects of devotion and humility or respect tend to not transport well in digital form.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  5. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

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    I dont believe in karma like when
    I led a bad life in my previous life that I will be reborn and have a bad life, but the principle of cause and effect is known to me also. I know it of course. If you hit someone, he hits you back, cause and effect, this principle you can also see in nature and science. and a few years ago I had a dream from god about incarnation, I dont know if I ever was in this world before this life. I just had this dream when an angel told me that there is a reason why I was born as a korean.

    the five precepts are similar to the 10 commandments, but god is missing.

    I see some similarity with christianity, like being humble, the right attitude of the mind, stuff like that, being careful what you think about. do miracles happen in buddhism like in christianity?
     
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  6. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

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    explain to me the meaning of suffering? I suffer because of an illness and wait that god heals me, what would a buddhist say to me?
    buddhism is just a religion of works dont you think? where you behave good and then you believe you get to nirvana.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
  7. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    All I can do is give you answers from the perspective of a Buddhist who believes is karma. (By the way, there are a number of Buddhist traditions that do not believe in karma.)



    Why do you think you were born as a Korean?

    I wonder if you were Korean in a previous incarnation, or will be were Korean in a future incarnation. It sounds like you will choose to not be Korean in a future incarnation. (Am I right?)

    By the way, I am Caucasian but I speak Japanese quite well. (I sometimes surprise Japanese people by how well I speak Japanese.) My ability to speak Japanese does not make any sense (but I believe I was Japanese in a previous incarnation, which explains a lot).



    The question of whether God exists or not is not important in a number of Buddhist traditions. Maybe He exists, maybe He does not, but these traditions do not spend a lot of time worrying about it.


    Yes.
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I am not a Buddhist, but I am very sorry to hear of your illness. Suffering and illness sucks.

    There is no special meaning to suffering in Buddhism, but it is the subject of the four noble truths. It is what it is, whatever we may believe about it, and it doesn't go away when we stop believing in it, and because of this, it is worthy of careful examination, as if it were a clue.

    The Buddhists I studied under told me there was more to it. Good works yield results, often good ones, but Nirvana is not attained by works. It is "unconditioned", I learned, not dependent on conditions like an impeccable karmic ledger.

    The fourth noble truth, which is equivalent to the noble eightfold path, is the way to Nirvana. It is to be developed (through appropriate works), but it is not itself nirvana.
     
  9. neophyte2021

    neophyte2021 New Member

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    I asked god why I was born a korean because when I would have been born as a german my life would have been easier and in the same night angel told me that god is powerful and koreans are also powerful, I answered that I dont believe that a race is better than someone else and she laughed heartily and the the dream was over. what miracles are happening in buddhism? I only thought miracles happen in christianity.
     
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  10. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Interesting dream. How did it make you feel?

    Buddhist cultures abound with stories of magic and miracles.

    In Theravada, which I know best, there are quite a few miracles attributed to the Buddha himself: First and foremost the Enlightenment, but also "worldly" feats such as levitating across rivers, taming enraged elephants and various supernatural beings (angry nagas, yakshas), outdoing even the great Brahma in terms of insight, and my personal favorite, supernaturally outpacing and taunting and finally converting a psychopathic mass murderer who was collecting the fingers of his victims to wear as a necklace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
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  11. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    It's a big question. @Nick the Pilot has said not all Buddhists Traditions believe in karma (Personally I don't know of any who do not), but there are substantial differences as to how karma is perceived.

    The question becomes more tortured when Buddhism asserts there is no enduring 'self', so the question of who transfers merit or demerit to whom becomes a complex philosophical issue. Also one has to look at the origins of popular belief.

    Karma is akin to that, of course, but in Buddhist terms is more nuanced.

    The Buddha seemed to centre karma on intention, so it's not what you do, it's the reason why you do it.

    All religions contain a moral and ethical dimension, but that doesn't really define the religion as such. Rather, they're much the same: don't kill, don't steal, don't cheat, don't lie, because people are the same everywhere. To understand the religion, you have to put the humanist moral values on one side. Again, it's not what the values are, but why the values are.

    Again, because people are the same.

    To my surprise and amusement, the origin of the Buddhist doctrine of the transfer of karma is very much the same as the Catholic doctrine of indulgences! A person performing good works towards the 'priest' or 'monk' can accrue merit and thus lighten the karmic burden of someone else, and this shaped Buddhist funeral rites.

    I mention this because in both Buddhism and Christianity, the principle of the doctrine is sound, but of course in both the doctrine is open to clerical abuse.

    On the other hand, the Buddhist idea that suffering in this life is the result of the evils of a previous existence seem to be rejected outright by Christ (cf Luke 13:4), as it is by some Traditions — Advaita Vedanta refutes it, I think, but that's a Hindu Tradition.

    The major question mark for me is the assumption of rebirth in this life, this round of existence. From my studies, I don't think that's what the Buddha taught. There are, in all the Asian Traditions, multiple rounds, multiple realms or states of being, no two quite alike, and never repeated. Indeed the human state is considered special, almost unique, and a rare jewel not to be wasted. The assumption that we get multiple bites of the cherry this time round might well be mistaken.
     
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  12. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry to hear of your suffering. My life has not exactly been a bed of roses either. We can only hope that our high levels of suffering will accelerate our progress towards enlightenment and then nirvana.
     
  13. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Again, this. Thanks @Thomas

    Rebirth does not have to mean repetitive reincarnation upon this planet into this dimension of nature? There are many, perhaps infinite, other worlds and dimensions and other states of being?
     
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  14. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Quite.

    The Buddha never really explained the process, but as there is no 'self' other than an aggregate of transient and ephemeral reflections, it's difficult to see how or what transmits ...

    Quite, and not all worlds are subject to time ... it gets involved!
     
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  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Yes. Not-self, or emptiness, in a nutshell. That was the point he was making.

    In modern terms, he was not an idealist.

    Later generations of monks noticed how it freaked out the alms-giving laypeople to learn they had no immortal, indestructible essence, so the wording was reworked, and schools arose which embraced full on idealism, to the extent that "the world is an illusion" (rather than ideas about the world being illusions). But the early texts are all about not getting caught up in preconceived notions, about methodically "seeing for oneself" rather than accepting beliefs on authority.
     
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  16. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I am hopping back and forth between this and the Quantum Theory discussions elsewhere ... take the foundational Hindu notion of multiple states of being, and consider the correspondence between that and multiple worlds ... and you have the idea that the effect of intent is realised here, but there are infinite other states of being where a different intent is realised ... and this simultaneously, rather than in succession ...

    Perhaps ...

    ... a way of reading the Noble Truths then is in not wishing we were in some other world/state where things are different. The point is, here is where we are, here is what matters. Ephemeral and transient, perhaps, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't act with best intent for 'the greater good'.

    That alternative other, the contemplation of which is a cause of suffering, exists simultaneously with our own, but elsewhere.

    As Cino alludes, if I read correctly, is that the idea of a continuing self, living innumerable lives, edging towards perfection, is an illusion. In fact, it's almost an inversion of the correct teaching.

    We identify with That Which IS, we hold that some part of 'me' will go on, whereas, perhaps, everything we conceive as "I" is entirely illusory, transient and ephemeral. If we perceive anything of 'previous incarnations', it's just noise, or static ... harmonic resonance, transient waves, psychic echoes ...

    We are just the peripheral effect of 'ISness', for the want of a better term, exhausting every possibility ... we are not inherently the IS.

    Why try? For the simply no other reason than it is the right thing to do ...

    Perhaps the truest truth, but the least effective argument of all. So every Tradition necessarily builds in its carrot-and-stick, its' punishments and rewards, to motivate right action, even if for the wrong reason. What the Buddhists term upaya, an expedient means.

    +++

    The above is all in the moment. I could be way off ...
     
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  17. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    But although other 'states' may co-exist with ours, they are not available to our perception by our natural physical senses limited by time and space, unless by heightened ‘yoga senses’ or dreams, etc? We sometimes perceive strange echoes and vibrations from beyond our physical dimension, we know there’s something more than the physical dimension – we speculate and wonder what happens after death frees us from the physical?

    I think the ‘many worlds interpretation’ ends up predicting other copies of me, somewhere out there, in infinite other universes – with different laws and so on?

    Why is the proton/electron charge exactly equal and opposite, enabling atoms to form? There’s no explanation: it just is that way – and without it there could be no universe. The force of gravity has to be exactly what it is. Several other 'fine tunings'.

    No chance percentage can be attached to the fact that an event happened, or that other events also happened. It’s only when an event repeats that a chance percentage can be attached of the probability of such a thing happening.

    We are here, and able to ask questions about it. The anthropic principle responds to the problem of the ‘fine tunings’ that enable human existence and consciousness by saying: Well … the universe is just the way it is -- human consciousness was never the goal of the universe.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  18. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens Admin

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    Totally.

    Take away space/time, there is no meaning between outside/inside past/present/future?
     
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  19. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Best to start with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism. They have many link explaining each point.
     
  20. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    That is not Buddhist view of karma (as per my understanding). Your actions will have effect on your life and those of others who relate to you. There is no rebirth as such (Buddha said you are born anew every moment). The parable says that you cannot step into the same river again. Much water has flowed and the river has changed. The effect of your karmas may affect someone even after your death.

    For example, a person was killed and his child was left orphan. The killer got death sentence. So both of them are gone. But killing will have effect on the orphan. That is how karma works.
    Buddha said that a human is 'anatta' (my translation - without substance) and 'anicca' (impermanent), and is a 'creation of circumstances'. You will understand that when you study more about Buddhism and "Dependent arising" (Pratītyasamutpāda).
    Members who know more about Buddhism are welcome to clarify/modify what I have said.
     
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