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

Aupmanyav

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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.
And is there a God to heal your illness? If there is a God then why do you need medical help? That is what Buddha said in a way. If you have an illness, go straight to a doctor, don't wait for God to heal it. And illness is not the only kind of suffering. You may suffer because some one has not allowed you to have your due. You may have desires which are not fulfilled. They will also cause distress.

Yes, Buddhism is a religion of works - what works in life. Buddha advised against spacious speculation which does not bring you any benefit in life. Is there as God? How was the universe created? Of course, all religions expect you to behave good, but that does not get you 'nirvana'. 'Nirvana', IMHO, is the true understanding of the world after which there is no unanswered question.

I am not aware of any miracles in Buddhism and do not think Buddha believed in any. Buddhism itself is a miracle, much ahead of its time, more than 2,600 years ago.

"In Buddhism, there is no concept of punishment or reward and there is no divine being who decides who goes* to hell or heaven."
Heaven and hell in Buddhism (Google Search)
* Because there is nobody to go. Humans and all other things have no 'atta'. They are 'anatta' (without substance) and 'anicca' (impermanent).

Again, members who know more about Buddhism are welcome to clarify/modify what I have said. I take Buddha a my teacher but I am not a Buddhist per say.
 
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Ahanu

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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,

Source?
 

Ahanu

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@Cino, so the Tathagatagarbha tradition teaches an immortal, indestructible essence in contrast to the Madhyamika because they noticed people were freaking out?

Another view is as follows: some monks noticed the teachings of their fellow Buddhists about emptiness were incomplete, partially encompassing the Buddha's earlier teachings. It had nothing to do with the reaction of laypeople.

This incomplete view is sometimes categorized as the second turning of the wheel of dharma.
 
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seattlegal

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The Buddha seemed to centre karma on intention, so it's not what you do, it's the reason why you do it.
Your intentional actions inform the habits you fall back on when you are unmindful. If you act skillfully when you are mindful, you will sow skillful habits to fall back on during the times when you are unmindful. Likewise, if you sow unskillful habits, you will reap unskillful results.

The Four Noble Truths interpreted from this perspective:


1. The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness)
2. The truth of the origin of dukkha
3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
4. The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha

My simplified explanation of the Four Noble Truths for western minds in light of karma as habit-or-skill-forming intention:
1. the truth of stress and suffering (unskillful effect),
2. the truth of the origination of stress (unskillful cause),
3. the truth of the cessation of stress (skillful effect),
4. the truth of the path to the cessation of stress (skillful cause).
 

Cino

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@Cino, so the Tathagatagarbha tradition teaches an immortal, indestructible essence in contrast to the Madhyamika because they noticed people were freaking out?

Another view is as follows: some monks noticed the teachings of their fellow Buddhists about emptiness were incomplete, partially encompassing the Buddha's earlier teachings. It had nothing to do with the reaction of laypeople.

This incomplete view is sometimes categorized as the second turning of the wheel of dharma.

The origins of the various schools are the subject of research, and there are many views and opinions. I should have clearly labeled mine as such, sorry for that.

In my understanding, Mahayana was a school that had much more layperson / householder involvement than preceding or contemporary, more monastic ones like early Theravada. It shows in the topics discussed, the style of the texts, later on even in the languages employed (shift to contemporary languages to write new sutras and commentaries).

The teachings about the Buddha Womb, Tathagatagarbha, is, as you say a Mahayana, "second turning of the Wheel of Dharma" teaching. Even so, I see it as referring to the ever-available individual potential of awakening, rather than to immortal individual souls.

How do you understand the Buddha Womb?
 

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The origins of the various schools are the subject of research, and there are many views and opinions. I should have clearly labeled mine as such, sorry for that.

In my understanding, Mahayana was a school that had much more layperson / householder involvement than preceding or contemporary, more monastic ones like early Theravada. It shows in the topics discussed, the style of the texts, later on even in the languages employed (shift to contemporary languages to write new sutras and commentaries).

The teachings about the Buddha Womb, Tathagatagarbha, is, as you say a Mahayana, "second turning of the Wheel of Dharma" teaching. Even so, I see it as referring to the individual potential of awakening, rather than to individual immortal souls.

How do you understand the Buddha Womb?

I would have to review the details of this topic, so I can't comment on it for now.

For now I would like to clarify what I wrote. The second turning of the wheel of dharma (the incomplete teachings) includes the teachings of Nagarjuna, not the teachings of those Buddhists that accepted the Tathagatagarbha tradition. Tathagatagarbha would be listed under the third turning of the wheel of dharma in this grand schema, representing the Buddha's highest and most complete teachings for some Buddhists.
 
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Cino

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For now I would like to clarify what I wrote. The second turning of the wheel of dharma (the incomplete teachings) includes the teachings of Nagarjuna, not the teachings of those Buddhists that accepted the Tathagatagarbha tradition. Tathagatagarbha would be listed under the third turning of the wheel of dharma in this grand schema, representing the Buddha's highest and most complete teachings for some Buddhists.

Yes, you have a point, although Buddhism being the complex thing it is, the "third turning" often refers to tantric Buddhism, like the schools of Vajrayana or Shingon. Tathagatagarbha teaching arose as part of the second turning, afaik, but of course the later schools embraced it and ran with it.

To give an impression of the time frames, the historical Buddha was a contemporary of the presocratic Greek philosophers. Early Tantric Buddhism, 3rd turning teachings arose around the time the Roman empire adopted Christianity, and continued to develop. I think it is fair to assume similar leaps in doctrine and philosophy. The Buddha-Womb / Buddha-Nature / Tathagatagarbha teachings relate to the historical Buddha's roughly like teachings about the Trinity would relate to Parmenides' ontology, in terms of intellectual and spiritual development.
 

Aupmanyav

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How do you understand the Buddha Womb?
:) Tathagatagarbha is not Buddha's womb, he was a man. Tathagatagarbh is from where all things (Tatha + agata: Thus arrived) come (the ball of energy before inflation hit the nascent universe). It is a sort of vault. Hindus had "Hiranyagarbha" (The Golden womb) in RigVeda. :D
 

Cino

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:) Tathagatagarbha is not Buddha's womb, he was a man. Tathagatagarbh is from where all things (Tatha + agata: Thus arrived) come (the ball of energy before inflation hit the nascent universe). It is a sort of vault. Hindus had "Hiranyagarbha" (The Golden womb) in RigVeda. :D

The vault or womb where Tathagatas come from, in that sense, I think it is meant (although I admit I love the ambiguity of the phrase, "Buddha womb")? Tathagata being one of the epithets of the Buddha.

A latinized version I have seen is "Buddha Matrix".
 

Aupmanyav

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IMHO, 'Tatha āgata' (thus arrived, thus arisen) can mean all things in the universe, not just Buddha. Like what Hindus call 'Bhutas' (all things that come into existence). That includes humans as well as stones.
Well, that may be my brain-wave, may not be the Buddhist view. :D
I am a minimalist, so, Theravada (Hinayana) suits me well. I have studied Buddhism to the extent it is relevant to me.

भूत adj. - bhUta - existing
भूत n. - bhUta - that which is or exists
https://www.learnsanskrit.cc/index.php?mode=3&direct=au&script=hk&tran_input=bhuta
 
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seattlegal

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Aupmanyav

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Depends on one's definition of a miracle. Some people will say that existence of universe or life is a miracle.
 
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