Religion / Taoism


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Autor:  anton  04 November 2010
Tags:  Taoism
Words: 1039   |   Pages: 5
Views: 279

I took this course in Eastern religions to become more familiar wit religions of other countries. I was raised in a house full of Christians and Christianity was the only religion that I knew. I was very much encouraged by my parents, family, and society to say my prayers, attend Sunday school and church services, and be involved in the youth groups within my church. From being in church all the time I began to lose interest in it and as I got older I moved further and further away from the church setting, up to now I don’t even go. I began making my own decisions, it seemed religion’s importance in my life just faded, and I never completely gained my need to go to church back. I had done a tiny bit of research on Buddhism before I took this course.

Buddhism began more than 2,500 years ago by an Indian Prince named Siddhartha Gautama. Siddhartha was unhappy with the beliefs of the Hindu religion and sought to find the peace of mind he wanted; Siddhartha left his home and went to search for inner peace. He soon became Buddha, or “The Enlightened One,” and could then enter nirvana, the Buddhist place for eternal bliss. Buddha didn’t believe in the idea of a soul, but he did believe that there was something eternal in people, and that they cannot be born again, but rather be alive partially in all living things. He called this eternal part of human’s karma. Karma is the sum of one’s good and bad deeds. Karma determines what a person will come back as in the next life. The idea of karma was the most appealing to me, because it causes one to be cautious of their actions and instills the idea of “what goes around comes around.”

Buddhism to me portrays an aura of peace and tranquility. The world is filled with so much violence and terror and pain, I always wondered what the world would be like if everyone practiced Buddhism. Peace in this world was destroyed because people were fighting for something they wanted, and most wars broke out because people were fighting for land, etc. This interested me very much because it is completely true because I feel that people place more importance on material things than they do on feelings. I believe that one is not happy with themselves if they place high importance on material objects, and will only find happiness in life if they find happiness within themselves.

In his first sermon, Buddha has Four Noble Truths which form the basis of the Buddhists beliefs. They are as follows:

1. Life means suffering

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

The major truth that I really believe in is when he says to live means to suffer, he is saying that human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. One of these beliefs is that “all lives, from birth to death, are filled with sufferings” and this suffering is the cause of desire; this belief is as real as it gets.

Though I am Christian I have embraced many of the Buddhist teachings and used them in my daily life. I agree that in order to be a good person you need to keep your mind clear and pure, even though at times I can revert back to being “human” and lose my temper here and there. Being human it is natural to make mistakes, have feelings of pain, and desire. It is proven that the longer you keep pain inside your mind and body, the more it hurts, so a great way to release pain is through meditation. All human beings have experienced the feeling of pain; however, there are many different ways or outlets to release that pain. The best way for me to deal with such feelings is to spend time alone in a quiet place to keep my mind clear and relax; this is a method I learned from the Buddhist religion.

I feel that Buddhism is a very interesting and enlightening religion; it teaches you how to purify your soul and be at peace with yourself and with nature and inevitably it can make you a better person if u stay faithful to the practice. I hope one day to be able to be faithful to the practices without having to change my religion that is.

I ran across an article on the internet about America common misconceptions about Buddhism so I wanted to address a few. One is that Buddhists bow their heads (“gassho”) and kneel when they pray all the time which is not true; another is that all Buddhists wear robes and have a certain appearance. Another one is that they have grueling meditation sessions that last for days, which is not true, some meditation sessions last for 10 minutes at a time. Also that they welcome suffering, which is the total opposite of the Buddhist religion, they simply make it clear that life includes suffering; and lastly that Buddhism is about reincarnation, which is also not true, The article says that”This misconception is understandable, given that Tibetan Buddhists (such as the Dalai Lama), who do believe in a form of reincarnation, are perhaps the most "visible" of the many sects of Buddhism. Also, watching recent movies like Little Buddha, Seven Years in Tibet or Kundun, might lead one to believe that Tibetan Buddhism is "representative" of Buddhism in general. However, Shin Buddhists generally treat belief in reincarnation in the same way we treat belief in a god: We don't give it much thought. What's important is not which Buddhists believe in reincarnation and which don't, but that all Buddhists do strive to awaken to one central teaching: The universal truth of the impermanent and interdependent nature of all life. As our awareness of this truth awakens, so does our awareness of compassion.

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