Friday, February 15, 2008

New Thing #35--Buddha for Beginners

A chance remark by Mark, who was teaching a yoga class I attended yesterday, led me to today's New Thing. The class was about mind awareness, and the power of "center" and "ground". After the class, Mark indicated these concepts came from the Buddhist tradition, so today I decided to learn about Buddhism and it's teachings.

Much to my surprise, today turned out to be a noteworthy day for Buddhists, so it was a great time to be learning about their religion. To quote from the Website About.com: "Parinirvana — Nirvana Day — is observed primarily by Mahayana Buddhists, most commonly on February 15th. The day commemorates the death of the historical Buddha and his entry into Nirvana."

The Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, a practical guide of bringing about ethical and meditative discipline, is divided into three basic categories:

  • Wisdom
    • Right view
    • Right intention
  • Ethical conduct
    • Right speech
    • Right action
    • Right livelihood
  • Mental discipline
    • Right effort
    • Right mindfulness
    • Right concentration

The moral of the story for me? Religion is any specific system of belief containing a code of ethics, and a philosophy of life. ALL spiritual traditions keep coming back to each other...Catholic (and Christian), Jewish, Buddhist, 12-Step, and Native American.

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