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Buddhism

Buddhism

buddha

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to Insight into the true nature of reality. Buddhist practices like meditation are means of changing yourself in order to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom.

The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a path — a path which ultimately culminates in Enlightenment or Buddhahood. An enlightened being sees the nature of reality absolutely clearly, just as it is, and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision. This is the goal of the Buddhist spiritual life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.

Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshipping a creator god, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. So Buddhism addresses itself to all people irrespective of race, nationality, caste, sexuality, or gender. It teaches practical methods which enable people to realise and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives.

Buddhists follow the Buddha's example. When they meditate, Buddhists focus on awakening to truth as the Buddha did. In Buddhist countries, there are many temples where people can make offerings of flowers and incense for the shrine and food for the monks. They may also have a shrine within the home. When entering a temple, Buddhists will take off their shoes, put their hands together and bow to the image of the Buddha. In their practice they may use prayer beads called malas.

The main Buddhist ceremonies are the Uposatha observance days when monastics and lay people renew their commitment to the teaching and practice. These are held on each quarter of the moon. The main Buddhist festival of the year is Wesak, the celebration of the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death, except in Japanese Buddhism where these three events are observed on different days.

Buddhism is a way of finding peace within oneself. It is a religion that helps us to find the happiness and contentment we seek. Buddhists develop inner peace, kindness and wisdom through their daily practice; and then share their experience with others bringing real benefit to this world. They try not to harm others and to live peacefully and gently, working towards the ultimate goal of pure and lasting happiness for all living beings.

The goal of Buddhism is a state of lasting, unconditional happiness known as enlightenment.

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