Buddhism Philosophy & Teachings

Buddhism: Eating and Diet

Specific meals for specific occasions vary considerably throughout the Buddhist world, but virtually all traditions in all countries share 2 basic dietary prohibitions: alcohol is typically prohibited (always for monks), being regarded as a clouder of reason; likewise, meat is typically not eaten. One of the most basic ethical principles in Buddhism is that which prohibits the killing of any other being; this principle fundamentally

Buddhism: Rituals

Puja, or “honour,” is a ubiquitous form of worship throughout the Buddhist world, most typically directed at images of the Buddha and the various Bodhisattvas and at the Buddha’s relics. Buddhists frequently make offerings to images, typically fruit but sometimes money, as a gesture of respect, as an act of renunciation, or, in some cases, in the hopes of some favour in return, perhaps happiness

Buddhism: Membership and Tolerance

The Buddha stressed several key issues with regard to membership within the Buddhist tradition: first, Buddhism was open to anyone, regardless of social status or gender (this would later become an issue within the Sangha, however, as women were excluded in at least some Buddhist schools); and second, that becoming a Buddhist was an entirely self-motivated act. Buddhism has always been a profoundly tolerant religious

Buddhism: Social Justice

It is imperative to understand that the Buddha set out for his quest for Enlightenment not out of a selfish quest for spiritual fulfilment but out of compassion and the burning desire to alleviate the suffering of all beings, and it is this fundamental emphasis on compassion that informs and orients the Buddhist sense of social justice. The number of Buddhist organizations addressing poverty and

Buddhism: Marriage and Family

Buddhist texts are essentially silent on the subject of Marriage: Although the Buddha did not lay out rules on married life, he did offer basic guidelines for how to live happily within marriage: Married people should be honest and faithful and avoid adultery. As for polygamy, the Buddhist laity are advised to limit themselves to one wife. In traditionally Buddhist countries marriage is a completely

Buddhism: Controversial Issues

Buddhists, if it is possible to generalize, tend to believe that most issues are decided by the individual or by the basic ethical guidelines that were first laid out by the Buddha himself and then subsequently elaborated on in the Vinaya Pitaka. One central tenet that informs Buddhist’s understanding of such controversial issues as capital punishment and abortion is the prohibition against harming any living

Buddhism: Cultural Impact

In contemporary Śrī Lanka a special class of monks is trained in such chanting, and recordings of their recitations are frequently sold as popular music, although the monks themselves have been careful to stipulate that this is simply a more effective means of transmitting the dharma and not intended for aesthetic enjoyment. Elsewhere, in Tibet and East Asia, different forms of chanting, sometimes with musical

Theravada Buddhism | Introduction

Theravada Buddhism comes from the teachings of the Buddha, who lived in the 5th century B.C.E. The Theravada (School of the Elders, in the Pali language) is the sole surviving branch of the earliest Buddhism. Its primary emphasis was on monastic life, with the single goal of individual Liberation through Enlightenment, until the early 20th century, when it became more widely available. Laypeople practice generosity

Buddhist Philosophy

Within the Buddhist tradition there exist enormously sophisticated systems of thought: Whether these systems should be regarded as “philosophy” or “theology” or something else is a difficult question and a topic of much debate: The Buddhist term most closely related is Dharma, which means something like truths or teachings, especially teachings about how to live. But it is not what professional philosophers in modern West

Buddhist Ethics

Ethics is a major part of the Buddhist Path that leads to the end of suffering: The path is sometimes conceived of as a 3-fold training in which Śīla provides the foundation for Samādhi and prajñā. The practice of moral discipline is supportive of the other practices in the path. - The realization of no-self, - emptiness, and - interdependence - leads to Ethics