Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Enlightened One.

What is Buddhism? Do only Asian people follow the Buddha? Do Buddhists pray? Is Buddhism a religion?

Buddhism, as I have recently discovered, is so simple, yet so complex. The steps in which you practise Buddhism are very simple indeed, once you know what they are of course. Once you delve deeper in to these steps you find all sorts of complexities that deepen the Buddhist path.

I was born in to a Christian/Catholic family by title but atheist by faith. I was Christened which by the way, I didn't choose - nor do I remember. When I was old enough I joined the 'Brownies' which was held at the church and we attended the church on Sundays, although I was never sure what to believe. I think that my attendance of the Brownie group was more to do with the different adventures that we went on and the friends that I made whilst attending.

Growing up I always felt interested in Religion and during my GCSE's I picked to take Double Religious Studies. Maybe I was always interested in learning about the different faiths because I was unsure which faith I would like to follow or live my life by? Maybe I just really liked the teaching style of our RS teacher?

I remember being taught about Buddhism during our classes and never fully understanding it, we were never taught about the Buddhist path, The Four Noble Truths or The Noble Eightfold Path. We were mainly taught that Buddhist monks meditate and live in the East.

Every now and again throughout my journey after school I have looked on the Internet to find out what I can about Buddhism, now let me tell you - don't believe everything Google tells you! I had a strong belief that the Buddha said 'if you never crave or desire anything you can never be disappointed, in which case - you will never suffer'. My uneducated and unwise mind couldn't believe that Buddhism was that simple! Well I wasn't wrong when I was confused by this.

I recently started reading a book called 'Buddhism for Beginners' - By Thubten Chodren. It was a very nice book to read to start me off on what Buddhism was about but I didn't feel that it went in to complexities enough.

On an hour long trip to Foyle's bookstore I found a book called 'the heart of the buddha's teachings' - By Thich Nhat Hanh (who I believe to be a very famous Buddhist monk and teacher).
I strongly recommend this book to everybody who enjoys reading, not only if you are interested in Buddhism but if you feel that there is something missing from your life, if you need to find true happiness and inner peace.
Not only does Thich Nhat Hanh explain Buddhism in a simple yet profound way - it all makes sense. Whilst reading his book I honestly wondered why everyone in the world does not follow the Buddhist faith? There are no rules to follow, there is no God to serve, Buddhism is about controlling oneself and training your own mind before pointing the finger elsewhere, Buddhism is about Mindfulness.

Being Mindful in everything you do, thinking before you act and having peace within yourself before blaming others for your suffering. It makes sense, if people around the world focused on making their own life happier and creating a happier space for the people that they love, then the world would be a much happier place for all of us. If we were taught to give to others instead of taking away and getting what we want - the world would be a happier place.

Particularly lately with such anger and hate around the world, terror attacks and murder are happening more and more around the world than ever. Maybe we should be trying to help the people that want to kill, help them find peace with the world instead of hating on an entire race/religion just because the media tells us that's who it was. Being a Muslim doesn't make someone a murderer, being a Christian doesn't make someone boring, and being Jewish doesn't make someone rich. The world has so many labels and so many stereotypes that it is hard not believe that all of the people that belong to certain community are the same.

In 'the heart of the buddha's teaching' Thubten Chodren writes about how we need to erase the labels that we have placed on things in the world and realise that we are all individual. He teaches us that our perceptions can sometimes defy our rationality. When we perceive something the wrong way, it can cause us to suffer, we have to stop jumping to conclusions and judging what is in front of us before we decide on its worth.

I may not be completely correct in the way that I have described the Buddhas teachings, but I do know that since reading the book and practising being Mindful, I have felt much inner peace and much happiness. Meditation is a big part of the Buddhas teaching and when I first tried Meditation I realised how there had been a massive chunk missing from my life. Meditation helps you to relax, and be mindful, it helps you to accept being angry and hurt, and it helps you to move forward and be at peace with yourself.

Even if you don't feel like you need to, just have a read of the book and see how it can change your life for the better.

Finding peace and happiness is the ultimate goal of most human beings, you can find it using the Buddas teaching. You don't have to become Buddha and you don't have to make many changes, its the smallest change s that see the biggest results.

Find your inner peace, find your inner Buddha.

No comments:

Post a Comment