Here is a brief guide to Buddhism and its tenets. Many people think Buddhism is a strict religion, but I view it more as a simple philosophy. One may adopt it to their life whether they are the most religious lover of God, or an atheist. It does not stress belief in an outer entity, but faith in one's self. Faith to stay present and not dwell on the past or future. In a busy time like today, that is very hard for most of us to do. Our days are filled with thinking. However, the fundamental language of Buddhism is that our thoughts cause suffering. They cause us to "hold on". The cure? Meditation. Anything from yoga to just breathing to singing mantras. But all in the moment. So with that said, here is the short guide my father helped me compile!
1. There is suffering in form – suffering in birth, death and living.
2. The Cause of suffering is the clinging of the mind – Not being present.
You live in thought (present situation doesn't match your expectations / not getting what you want)
3. To remove the suffering, remove the clinging of the mind -
4. How to do it – Follow the 8 fold path !
~ nothing more ~
The 8 Fold Path
- Right Understanding--
- Understanding karma, which is cause and effect
- Understanding suffering
- Understanding that things are impermanent
2. Fill The Mind With Right Thoughts--
- Free of ill will & cruelty
- Free of doubt
- Free of restlessness and remorse
- Cultivate thoughts of: love simplicity and compassion! (if thoughts do don't this, then let them go)
3. Right Speech --
- Free of Gossip
- Free of lying
- Free of Abuse
- Free of Harsh Language
- Free of speech that causes disunity or that breaks up Harmony
4. Right Action --
- Free from killing and stealing
- Free from sexual misconduct (acts that would cause pain to others: exploiting or adultery)
5. Right Livelihood --
- Earning income in a way that does not hurt others
- (If you are on welfare without good reason, this creates disunity)
6. Right Effort --
- Pushing towards enlightenment
- Don't push too hard or too easy
7. Right Mindfulness --
- Stay aware, conscious, and mindful
8. Right Concentration --
- Learn how to be one-pointed in mind
- Follow the breath
- Everything you do becomes your primary object (of concentration)
For more on the five mental hindrances, check out this great article. It is a bit lengthy, but it definitely makes some interesting points. However, I covered the most important parts of Buddhism above! Hope it was helpful.