Buddhism is one of the oldest religions that we have today and it has over 500 million followers worldwide making it one of the popular religions. Buddhism teaches us a new way of living and how can we achieve peace and salvation.
In this article, we are going to tell you how to practice religion. But before that, we would like to tell you the history of Buddhism so that you can know everything about the origination of the religion as well as what it’s goals are.
What is Buddhism and where it was originated?
Buddhism has originated approx 2,500 years ago in Nepal when a man took a seat under the Bodhi tree in ancient Nepal for meditation. This man was Budha himself. He sat there to meditate but later he found enlightenment and that’s when Buddhism was born.
The word Buddha means the Awakened One in Sanskrit. So it’s not like that there can be only one Buddha, in fact, anyone can become a buddha- including you. In simpler words, the Buddha is one who can see the world with his eyes unclouded by judgment or bias. And that’s what makes it so hard to become a buddha and that is the reason we have only had a few Buddhas!
Buddhism has a number of definitions and some core data of values that need to be followed in order to follow the religion.
The religion stands for peace, mindful and happy life and that’s what this religion promise to give.
- 1 Who can practice Buddhism?
- 2 Is Buddism Monotheistic?
- 3 How to practice Buddhism?
Who can practice Buddhism?
If you are thinking about whether or not you can practice Buddhism, then let us tell you that this religion is open to all. Everyone can practice Buddhism and live a path of peace and mindfulness.To practice buddha, you need to have a basic understanding of the religion and the core sets of values. And that’s what we are going to tell you in this article.
Is Buddism Monotheistic?
Buddhism is not a monotheistic religion and here is the reason why.The buddha was none other than the Siddhartha Gautama, who was a son of a King. He saw violence, sadness, and selfishness around him and make a vow to end the human suffering. And that’s where he sat under a bodhi tree for meditation. He sat there for 49 days and found a new spiritual understanding and enlightenment. And that’s where he felt the need for sharing this new spiritual understanding with the world.He never claimed that he was a God or some prophet sent by God. He just found himself as a mortal man who wanted to spread peace among the people by some core sets of values. And that’s why there is no official God or deity in Buddhism.And this is one of the reasons why Buddhism has so many followers, it teaches less about the spiritual laws or deities and more about the attainment of peace and mindfulness.The religion teaches us how we can end human suffering and practice Buddhism. Although there are many sects and values, but you might want to know the original and the basic understanding of Buddhism.
How to practice Buddhism?
There are four noble truths and the eightfold path which you need to follow and practice in order to practice Buddhism. And there are some common beliefs as well. The basic set of values and rules of Buddhism are given below.The four Noble Truths:-
- All of the human existence is suffering
- The cause of suffering is craving
- The end of suffering comes with the end of craving
- There is a path that we can follow to put an end to suffering
The Noble Eightfold Path
Living by The Four Great Bodhisattva Vows –
1. Put an end to sufferingsBuddhism tells us that suffering and life are intertwined. But in order to practice Buddhism, we have to work towards ending the suffering of other human beings. It includes both mental and physical suffering. The suffering can be ended by breaking the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. And the key to ending the suffering is Nirvana which can be living according to the eightfold path (or the middle way).This the first truth in the four noble truths given by Buddha, that is the truth of suffering.
2. Follow the Noble Eightfold PathAs we have mentioned earlier the noble eightfold path is another pillar of Buddhism and in order to practice Buddhism, you will have to follow the Noble Eightfold Path as well. Here the four noble truths are the belief behind Buddhism and the Eightfold Path is the practice and discipline behind Buddhism.
3. Put an end to cravings and desiresBuddhism believes that all our suffering comes from our desires and when we take control of our desires and wants we live a peaceful life. It’s true that you can put an end to all the cravings and wanting in your life, but by practicing the noble eightfold path, you may be able to put an end to all the desires and craving that further end human sufferings.
4. Continue learningBuddhism believes that in order to attain nirvana and enlightenment, one should always practice learning. We may believe that we have learned enough but in truth, we can never learn enough. And that’s why learning should be a lifelong goal.
Living according to the five precepts –The five precepts of Buddhism are the way of life and they should be practice, in order to achieve nirvana and have a better life in the next rebirth. These are not the rules but a basic understanding of the way of living. These five precepts are:-
1. Do not killThe first precept of Buddhism is to avoid killing, and it applied to all living creatures including the insects and living animals. It makes you follow the path of non-violence. And that’s why many Buddhists are either vegetarian or vegan.
2. Do not stealIn Buddhism, you shouldn’t be having anything that isn’t yours. And these precepts tell you not to steal anything from anyone. This precept inspires you to go become more generous, open, and honest.
3. Do not exploit or abuse anyoneThe next precepts of Buddhism are that we should not exploit anyone in any form, that is, physically, mentally, sexually, or emotionally. If you are engaging in sexual activity, make sure that the other person has given their consent. This notion also teaches us not to have a sexual relationship with people who are married or in a relationship.
4. Do not lieIf you want to practice Buddhism and follow the path of eightfold, then you should never lie or hide important information. You should always be open and honest.
5. Do not use drugsDrugs or another mind-altering substance can have a negative impact on our mind and they can influence us to do the wrong things in our life. And that’s why one should always avoid taking drugs or alcohol.The five precepts are the way of living and tell us to be truthful, honest, and generous. We should also donate and be gentle towards other living beings.
Understanding of Karma and Dharma –
KarmaWe all are aware of the concept of karma and it holds significance in Buddhism as well. Whatever we do in this life has a great influence over our next life. Whatever we do, either bad or good in this life is our karma. And our karma will decide the circumstances of our life in the next rebirth as well. So this inspires us to do good things and be good for everyone.
DharmaDharma is the reality of the world and our life. And it constantly keeps changing. Dharma refers to the choices we make and the way we live in our present life. Buddhism teaches us to live in the moment and appreciate all we have. We should be thankful for everything we have and we should thank by making offerings and through prayers.
Practice MeditationMeditation is the key element of Buddhism and that’s why we should make it a part of our lifestyle. One should practice mediation daily as it will help you achieve mindfulness and make you see the world more clearly.You can practice meditation through the following steps:-
- Find a quiet spot: when you are meditating, there should be no disturbance around you. So find a place where you can be alone and away from all the distractions
- Sit in a comfortable position: when you practice meditation, you should sit in a comfortable position and it doesn’t have to be the cross-legged position.
- Focus on your eyes: you can keep them open, partially closed, or fully closed, and then practice the meditation.
- Focus on your breathing: concentrate on your breaths and be aware when you are breathing in or out.
- Let your thoughts go: try to have a blank mind and try to focus. There shouldn’t be any thoughts in your head when you meditate.practice the mediation for 15 minutes a day in the starting and then you can slowly increase the time as well.
This is all you needed to know about Buddhism and how you can practice. It’s one of the most simple religion to follow and practice. And everyone can practice it. This religion makes us live a good life and follow the path of truth, non-violence, and peace. Lastly, Buddhism makes our lives easier and makes us more mindful and make us more aware of our surrounding and the choices that we make in our lives.
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