Author Topic: What do Buddhist believe?  (Read 6418 times)

RedLantern

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What do Buddhist believe?
« on: December 23, 2012, 03:12:33 PM »
Merely believing in words and concept is not the Buddhist path.One practices Buddhismin order to realize a self not subject to birth and death.
To say doctrines and teaching shouldn't be accepted on blind faith doesn't mean they aren't important.The teachings of Buddha are like maps to follow on a spiritual journey.Daily meditation or chanting may seem pointless ,but when practiced with sincerity,will have real impact on your life and outlook.
Often you might read that Buddhist believe such and such a thing,when in fact that doctrine belongs only to one school and not to all of Buddhism.
Throughout Asia,one can find a kind of folk Buddhism in which the Buddha and other iconic characters from Buddhist Literature are believed to be divine beings who can hear prayers and grant wishes.C

RedLantern

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 03:21:22 PM »
Merely believing in words and concept is not the Buddhist path.One practices Buddhismin order to realize a self not subject to birth and death.
To say doctrines and teaching shouldn't be accepted on blind faith doesn't mean they aren't important.The teachings of Buddha are like maps to follow on a spiritual journey.Daily meditation or chanting may seem pointless ,but when practiced with sincerity,will have real impact on your life and outlook.
Often you might read that Buddhist believe such and such a thing,when in fact that doctrine belongs only to one school and not to all of Buddhism.
Throughout Asia,one can find a kind of folk Buddhism in which the Buddha and other iconic characters from Buddhist Literature are believed to be divine beings who can hear prayers and grant wishes.Clearly there
are Buddhist with beliefs.Focusing on those beliefs will teach you a little about Buddhism.
Keep yourself to new understanding.Whatever beliefs you hold,hold in an open hand and not a tight fist.
Just practice and see where it takes you.

sonamdhargey

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 03:35:21 PM »
Agreed that Buddhism is not about believing blindly rather understanding the Buddhist teachings and then applying the teaching through practicing what we learned and understand. Blind faith only bring us to a limited distance, when challenged without knowledge and wisdom everything that we believed will crumble and some may resort to violence and other acts to defend their faith and actually their ego. Buddhism teaches us to be humble and to question everything instead of just accepting blindly.

dondrup

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 05:37:04 PM »
A Buddhist believes in the following:
1) All compounded things are impermanent.
2) All emotions are pain.
3) All things have no inherent existence.
4) Nirvana is beyond concepts.

These are the Four Seals of Dharma that defines whether a practitioner is a Buddhist.

Lord Buddha had also taught that as Buddhists we should not accept everything we have heard or learned at the outset.  We should not blindly follow any teachings received including Dharma.  If in doubt, we should investigate further through our own contemplation and meditation.

DS Star

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2012, 05:49:33 PM »
And what are the Four Seals of Dharma as mentioned by Dondrup?

They are referring to these four characteristics or truths of universal existence :

1. that everything in this world is impermanent;
2. that everything in this world will bring us suffering (unsatisfactory);
3. that everything and every phenomena in this world is absent of 'self' or permanent body;
4. that only Nirvana can bring us ever lasting peace and happiness.

"The Three marks of existence, within Buddhism, are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkha?a; Sanskrit: trilak?a?a) shared by all sentient beings, namely: impermanence (anicca); suffering or unsatisfactoriness (dukkha); non-self (anatt?).

According to Buddhist tradition, a full understanding of these three can bring an end to suffering (dukkha nirodha, ??). The Buddha taught that all beings conditioned by causes (sa?kh?ra) are impermanent (anicca) and suffering (dukkh?) while he said not-self (anatt?) characterises all dhammas meaning there is no "I" or "mine" in the conditioned as well as the unconditioned (i.e. Nibb?na).[1][2] The central figure of Buddhism, Siddhartha is believed to have achieved Nirvana and awakening after much meditation, thus becoming the Buddha Shakyamuni. With the faculty of wisdom the Buddha directly perceived that all sentient beings (everything in the phenomenology of psychology) is marked by these three characteristics:

Anicca (Sanskrit anitya) "inconstancy" or "impermanence". This refers to the fact that all conditioned things (sankhara) are in a constant state of flux. In reality there is no thing that ultimately ceases to exist; only the appearance of a thing ceases as it changes from one form to another. Imagine a leaf that falls to the ground and decomposes. While the appearance and relative existence of the leaf ceases, the components that formed the leaf become particulate material that may go on to form new plants. Buddhism teaches a middle way, avoiding the extreme views of eternalism and nihilism.[3]

Dukkha (Sanskrit duhkha) or dissatisfaction (or "dis-ease"; also often translated "suffering", though this is somewhat misleading). Nothing found in the physical world or even the psychological realm can bring lasting deep satisfaction.

Anatta (Sanskrit anatman) or "non-Self" is used in the suttas both as a noun and as a predicative adjective to denote that phenomena are not, or are without, a self; to describe any and all composite, con-substantial, phenomenal and temporal things, from the macrocosmic to microcosmic, be it matter pertaining to the physical body or the cosmos at large, as well as any and all mental machinations, which are impermanent.

There is often a fourth Dharma Seal mentioned:
Nirvana is peace. Nirvana is the "other shore" from samsara."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_marks_of_existence

yontenjamyang

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2012, 12:14:19 PM »
For me the practice of Buddha is an everyday environment is very important. It is imperative to practice in an experiential way and not theory alone. Meditation for an hour is not as important as the other 23 hours. So what do we do as a path for the other 23 hours.

Buddha has given the path via the noble eightfold path. For Vajrayana Buddhism this is practiced as the six perfections of generosity, ethics, patience, effort, meditation and wisdom. This practice should also be incorporated with the mind of compassion for others and this synergises into merits and wisdom. So start by being generous in mind, speech and from a material standpoint and we can see a transformations. Like an aircraft taking off, if done with momentum and consistency one will go high and far and achieve realizations.

So we can live Buddhism in a daily life and it is not on the meditation cushion only.

brian

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2012, 01:34:11 PM »
The very basic for Buddhist to believe in for me is that we should apply the wisdom teachings from what we learnt from Lord Buddha's text and not become a burden to others. We learn and be consistent in what we practice so that we can cultivate our bad habits and become a better person.

Let alone collecting merits and whatever attainment(s) that we want to achieve, the very least we can do i think is how to not become a burden to people other than just do good deeds or avoiding committing bad karma. Of course i think this comes from practising the six perfections as in Vajrayana, generosity, ethics, meditation, wisdom, effort and patience.

Tenzin K

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2012, 04:32:29 PM »
Buddhism is one of the leading world religions in terms of adherents, geographical distribution, and socio-cultural influence. While largely an “Eastern” religion, it is becoming increasingly popular and influential in the Western world. It is a unique world religion in its own right, though it has much in common with Hinduism in that both teach Karma (cause-and-effect ethics), Maya (the illusory nature of the world), and Samsara (the cycle of reincarnation). Buddhists believe that the ultimate goal in life is to achieve “enlightenment” as they perceive it.

 The teachings of Buddhism are like maps to follow on a spiritual journey, or a boat to carry you across a river. Daily meditation or chanting may seem pointless, but when practiced with sincerity they have a real impact on your life and outlook.

If one want to learn about Buddhism, I suggest putting aside all assumptions. Put aside assumptions about Buddhism, and then assumptions about religion. Put aside assumptions about the nature of the self, of reality, of existence. Keep yourself open to new understanding. Whatever beliefs you hold, hold in an open hand and not a tight fist. Just practice, and see where it takes you.

Midakpa

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2012, 03:25:40 PM »
What Buddhists believe is what the Buddha taught. In the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha advised us to believe what we see clearly for ourselves to be the case and not to believe blindly what he said. In Buddhism, we are taught not to accept what is taught unless we have first thought it over, considered it carefully, examined it fully and seen clearly for ourselves that it really is so.

For example, the Buddha taught that ignorance, attachment and anger are the causes that give rise to suffering. If we ourselves are not acquainted with ignorance, attachment and anger, there is no way that we can believe this. But when we know ourselves what attachment is, what anger is, and what ignorance is, and that whenever they arise in the mind, they produce suffering, then we can believe on the basis of our own experience.

Thus, Buddhists believe only what they can see clearly.

Midakpa

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2012, 03:55:49 PM »
What Buddhists believe is what the Buddha taught. What did the Buddha teach? The best way to answer this question is to quote the Buddha himself. "Know this, O monks: Now, as formerly, I teach of only dukkha (suffering, unsatisfactoriness) and the elimination of dukkha."

We may also ask, "What did the Buddha teach in particular?" We can say that the Buddha taught us to tread the Middle Way, to go to neither the one extreme nor the other. On the one hand we should avoid very harsh asceticism and on the other hand, we must keep away from practices that allow us to engage in sensual pleasures. Walking the Middle Way brings about conditions which are conducive to study and practice and to put an end to suffering. Knowing the Middle Way means knowing causes, knowing effects, knowing oneself, knowing how much is enough, knowing the proper time, knowing individuals, knowing groups of people. These are called the Seven Noble Virtues which constitute the Middle Way. (from "Buddha-Dhamma for Students" by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu)

Big Uncle

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2012, 06:34:04 PM »
Buddhist believe in the 3 Jewels, Karma, 4 Noble Truths, 8 Fold Path, 6 Perfections, Merit, Mind Training, Future lives, Monastic Disciple, Meditation, Compassion, Emptiness of Inherent Existence and so much more. All these can be summed up to the Dharma and the most important aspect of applying the Dharma is to take responsibility of our lives and make the right decisions to the best of our abilities with consideration of others.

I always try to explain to people who don't know what Buddhism is all about and that is to take responsibility of our actions by have consideration of others with every thought, word and action that comes out of us. I heard that from a teaching and I was flabbergasted at how logical and beneficial Buddhist teachings are. Later when I learnt of how in depth that the Buddha taught on the workings of the mind, I was blown away. I think these are some of the best aspects of Buddhism that is unrivaled in any other spiritual traditions. 

buddhalovely

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 04:39:20 PM »
In Buddhism, sin is largely understood to be ignorance. And, while sin is understood as “moral error,” the context in which “evil” and “good” are understood is amoral. Karma is understood as nature's balance and is not personally enforced. Nature is not moral; therefore, karma is not a moral code, and sin is not ultimately immoral. Thus, we can say, by Buddhist thought, that our error is not a moral issue since it is ultimately an impersonal mistake, not an interpersonal violation. The consequence of this understanding is devastating. For the Buddhist, sin is more akin to a misstep than a transgression against the nature of holy God. This understanding of sin does not accord with the innate moral consciousness that men stand condemned because of their sin before a holy God.

Q

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 04:01:23 PM »
I believe the very basic belief in Buddhism is suffering. From the moment the Buddha was requested to preach the Dharma, the very first teaching the Buddha taught was the 4 Noble truths which is about suffering... how it arise, how we keep suffering, how there is a chance of stopping suffering, and how to stop suffering.

The very fact that we realize we are suffering is a blessing itself, for there are many times people do not realize it and just get comfortable with their lives, oblivious to the fact that although they are not 'literally' suffering... but they are. People who have it good all their lives will think they have no suffering, but the very fact that whatever enjoyment they experience right now will never last, is the very cause of suffering.

Another believe that is not unique to Buddhism but strongly uphold is about Reincarnation. When we speak of reincarnation, then that would mean a person would believe and understand the laws of karma... the laws of cause and effect. Because nothing stays stagnant, and everything goes in a cycle, therefore there is no possibility that our mind that resides in this borrowed body cease to exist upon death.

There is truly so much to talk about when it comes to what Buddhists believe... or more suitably called the truths of life. We don't believe because it is something that Buddha told us, we believe because we realize that all the Buddha has taught truly is the path to liberation and a way out of samsara.

Big Uncle

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 06:12:40 AM »
Oh, I have another perspective thats even simpler than just suffering. It is the truth of impermanence. You see this is the cornerstone of Buddhism because not everyone will understand that they are suffering but everyone will definitely experience impermanence. There's no escape from the ravages of time and time can take everything from you and that's why we suffer.

It is the one truth that is scientifically sound and can be accepted by people of all faiths, not necessarily Buddhists alone. It is so basic and yet, it can be built upon into the most profound of teachings. Hence, Lama Tsongkhapa had the chapter on death and impermanence at the very beginning of the lamrim teachings, right after the prelude chapter of Atisha's hagiography of course. There's no denying how powerful this teaching is and with proper contemplation and meditation on it, we can grow spiritually by leaps and bounds.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: What do Buddhist believe?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2015, 04:15:19 PM »
I like to share what I believe in as a Buddhist which of course is not the universal truth. Shakyamuni Buddhas taught the Dharma in 84,000 ways and that is the indication of the differences our minds.

Besides the belief in the 4 noble truths and karma, in my mind I like to believe that "I am Nothing, I am All and I am one".

Bearing this in mind all the time, humbles me to listen, see other's points of view and be compassionate towards their circumstances.

What are your thoughts?