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New to the idea of getting external help, too. I have several questions about this path after read this Q&A:

What attracted me to buddhism was

  • Meditation: Practice it many times on Padmasana because I thought that was the unique meditation form. Then I knew I can meditate over a skateboard, too.
  • Mindfulness: Dreaming about achieving it.
  • Hatha Yoga: Practiced it many times.
  • Ninjutsu: Practiced it several months on Bujinkan Dojo school (not a recommendation to go there). The concepts I got from Japanese culture were great though. They are attached to Buddhism but I think they misimpreted the message.
  • Kriya yoga: Autobiography of a yogi.

Some of my greater achievements:

  • Leave drugs
  • Leave alcohol
  • Became vegan
  • Practiced a lot in the non-attachment in objects and people too.

These questions are general, mine are more precise. Please be open minded about my questions, they are very real.

  • Was Buddha an artist of our times? Edit: I know a lot of teachers, I don't know any monks I can remember.

    • What's special about Buddha?
    • Why should someone follow him?
    • I see this like being someone else. Is this a bad concept about Buddhism?
    • Why he has in fist sight all the answers?
  • I read that is some kind of comparison about Buddhism schools and Cristians religions, but I learned that Buddhism is not a religion but a lifestyle. Is it or not?

  • About Yin and Yang, is that part of Buddhism?
  • The 12 universal laws are part of Buddhism?

That's all for the moment. Oh, I forgot, the most important one: About this little part of me you could read, is there a school recommendation?

Thanks for reading.

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  • Welcome to the site. There's something I don't understand, about the question, could you explain it: what is "an artist of our times"? What is "an artist" and what is "of our times"? An obvious/superficial reply could be, "No, the Buddha was a teacher and ... like a monk, who lived about 2400 years ago"; but I'm not sure whether that's what you're asking.
    – ChrisW
    Dec 8, 2016 at 4:31
  • i'll edit that question. Dec 8, 2016 at 4:42
  • Hello Germán and welcome to Buddhism SE. We also have a Help Center with useful resources. Enjoy your time here.
    – user2424
    Dec 8, 2016 at 18:45
  • Thanks @Lanka, I will ! I didn't know about that Help Center link. I'll definetly check it when the time comes. Dec 8, 2016 at 21:29
  • Books and other written material can be helpful, but they can also be misleading, especially if you're new to Buddhism. Buddhism is a practice, the best way to learn about Buddhism is to do a retreat at a monastery or other practice centre.
    – user10515
    Dec 18, 2016 at 15:58

7 Answers 7

10

Some quick answers, which I may add to later:

  • Buddhism is certainly not a religion because it states all of its teachings are to be known & verified by its wise followers. It is certainly a way of life, which leads away from suffering to peace. Buddha defined it as the 'holy way of life'.

  • Buddha is the most special individual human being because history shows he was the first to fully & truly diagnose what suffering really is and, more importantly, the methods to overcome suffering. Although today there are many religions & disciplines incorporating direct or indirect principles of the Buddha to overcome suffering, the Buddha was the 1st to fully diagnose suffering & its solution.

  • The Buddha actually does have all of the answers to all important questions. The teachings of the Buddha cover all facets of life, including money, work, relationships, human behaviour, meditation & spiritual wisdom that overcomes suffering. However, as the saying goes: "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". To test the Buddha, we can ask questions about different things and a well-educated Buddhist can offer answers from the Buddha. By asking questions, we can learn how wise the Buddha was.

  • Buddhism is not the same as Christianity because Buddhism holds everything is just natural elements (dhatu) where as Christianity believes in God. However, Christianity does share some principles with Buddhism about charity, morality, love, non-violence & some aspects of mental development. But Christianity does not explicitly teach the higher wisdom of Buddhism, such as the four noble truths, three-characteristics, not-self (anatta), emptiness (sunnata), the elements (dhatu), etc.

  • Buddhism is very straightforward, extremely thorough in its analysis and the language used is literal. Where as Christianity can often be very vague and the language used is often metaphorical. Jesus himself said he taught in parables to hide his teachings from certain people.

  • Ying & yang is not really related to Buddhism because ying & yang is a principle that explains the creation of natural things where as Buddhism is about ending suffering (rather than natural creation). However, some ying & yang principles are found in Buddhism, such as in its description of male & female faculties & it is description of the vicissitudes of life. While the psychology of Buddhism certainly explains ying & yang principles pertaining to the cyclical relationship between pleasure, craving & suffering, the goal of Buddhism is to transcend or be beyond ying & yang (rather than to embrace or celebrate ying & yang).

  • Similar to ying & yang, the 12 laws of the universe are mostly about creationism & therefore not related to the liberative purpose of Buddhism (although Buddhism would agree with some of them but not all). For example, since Buddhism transcends 'self', the idea of 'we reap what we sow' is not central to Buddhism, although it does exist in Buddhism. This idea is only morality for worldly people that believe they are a 'self' & believe 'they personally' reap & sow.

  • As for being an "artist of our times", most of the world still must advance towards the spiritual evolution of the Buddha. Buddhism states the way/path of the Buddha is "timeless" (akaliko). As long as beings or minds exist that can experience suffering, the way/path of the Buddha will properly address such suffering.

  • Finally, about 'schools of Buddhism', this depends on your disposition. i.e., the Law of Attraction. The Buddha taught individuals of different dispositions are attracted to different teachers with different emphasis. The general distinctions between Buddhism schools are:

    (1) Helping oneself versus helping others.

    (2) Individual self-reliant practice versus teacher lead

    (3) One present life focus versus reincarnation/rebirth focus.

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  • This answers are really helpful to me. I'll be great if you could answer the questions left. This are doubts I carry long time ago. Dec 8, 2016 at 21:38
  • OK..........done Dec 9, 2016 at 5:24
  • 1
    I appreciate your answer. Even though I wouldn't agree with some point here or there but you have articulated it so well!! I am sure any new person can greatly benefit from it. However, I must say something about the last point - in all schools of Buddhism, helping oneself and helping others are important. The difference can be that certain schools emphasise one over the other or the way to one is through the other or it can simply be a matter of begining with helping oneself or the other. "Versus" may give an impression that some schools make a choice and neglect the other. May 15, 2021 at 16:15
1

Artist Buddha?

The Buddha denounces individual expression and passion in favor of being grounded in peace and happiness.

How to get to Nirvana?

Follow the Buddha's Eightfold Path to cultivate an ability to let go of everything you want to pull to you(greed, clinging, desire) and develop acceptance of reality you normally push away(anger, aversion).

Yin Yang is a Taoism concept but it was remixed into Mahayana Buddhism.

What's special apout the Buddha?

He is appropriately ordinary and fully enlightened. He developed special teachings that arn't seen in any other religions like Anatta and the 12 links of Dependant Origination.

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  • Thanks for your time, still there is lack of answers and I dont like your tone on the first answer, regards. Dec 9, 2016 at 17:44
  • I don't know, I suppose I couldn't come up with a good answer for all the questions. I appreciate the comments. I will try to do better next time :)
    – Lowbrow
    Dec 10, 2016 at 4:17
1

A few comments on Dhammadhatu's excellent answer, for now mostly pertaining to "Is Buddhism a religion?" and "Does Buddhism answer important questions?

First, it is correct to say that Buddhism is not a religion. However, I believe that

  • It is absolutely not the case that Buddhists are atheists.

  • It is probably not the case that Buddhists are agnostics in the Western sense.

Many Buddhist artworks of Ancient India depict the Buddha teaching various Hindu deities. While Hindus considered this blasphemy, the artists were making an important point; whether or not the Hindu gods (or any Gods) exist, they cannot be a source of "ultimate knowledge". If all things and beings are arising and perishing (and therefore cannot access "ultimate knowledge"), then either Gods are somehow "not things or beings" (special pleading, and leads to problems of causal efficacy) or they are also arising and perishing, and therefore have no access to "ultimate knowledge". But, since Buddha teaches that the only "ultimate knowledge" is "arising and perishing" now all gods (Hindu included) will have to learn from him! So, to return to the matter at hand, in fact Buddhists do not think that the existence or non-existence of God/Gods is an "Important Question (r)(tm)"!

Second, when Dhammadhatu says "Buddhism answers important questions", the word "important" must be exceedingly carefully used and interpreted. Questions regarding any "soul" and "afterlife" are mostly regarded as unimportant. Also, questions regarding the origin of the universe and the end of the universe, origin of man, etc. are almost totally dismissed. For greater detail, see this. In my not-so-humble opinion this is the most important part of Buddhism and gets short shrift in the literature; wiki: parable of the poisoned arrow

EDIT: I retract my statement that Buddhism is not a religion, because I was using a wrong definition of religion. See here; https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8236/isnt-buddhism-a-religion. I do not insist that it is or is not a religion. Probably this is an "unimportant question"! =P

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  • So Buddhism is not metaphysical but physical-practical? This is really interesting. Dec 10, 2016 at 8:11
  • 1
    @Jamesson. I generally edit out references to my posts made by other members however since I fully agree with your comments, I will thank you instead. That said, my answer is strictly my view & slightly extreme or "core" Buddhism. Kind regards. Dec 10, 2016 at 11:55
  • 1
    @GermánAcosta. well, the way one of my teachers put it - not metaphysics, meta-psychcics. "Supra-normal" phenomena exist, but they come from humans, not god(s).
    – jamesson
    Dec 12, 2016 at 19:52
1

You have many questions. For my knowledge the most important question out of all those why one should follow Buddha and his teachings? I would like to give detailed answer for that.

As a buddhist according to our master's supreme mandane he understood and told us that we are traveling birth after birth infinite period of time that we cannot count in this "samsara". it is like a circle and even lord buddha not able to find the one's beginning of the life. See this below picture. We called this is journey of "Samsara" Journey of Samsara

We believe 31 levels in this universe under this sun and moon.

  1. Four main hells [semi 186] - 04
  2. Human World on this earth - 01
  3. Six Heavens - 06
  4. Brahma loka - 20

To get better understand of their ages refer below chart. 31 levels

So we keep on traveling as a result[Vipaka] of our past present future actions[Karma]. There is no creator. What we are experiencing now is mainly due to your previous result or vipaka of your karma or action. There were few more things that might be resulting into. Those are

  1. Utu Niyama - physical inorganic order, e.g. seasonal phenomena of winds and rains. The unerring order of seasons, characteristic
    changes and events, causes of winds and rains, nature of heat, etc., all belong to this group.
  2. Bija Niyama - order of germs and seeds (physical organic order), e.g. rice produced from rice-seed, sugary taste from sugar- cane or honey, peculiar characteristics of certain fruits, etc. The scientific theory of cells and genes and the physical similarity of twins may be ascribed to this order.
  3. Karma Niyama - order of act and result, e.g., desirable and undesirable acts produce corresponding good and bad results. As surely as water seeks its own level so does Karma, given opportunity, produce its inevitable result, not in the form of a reward or punishment but as an innate sequence. This sequence of deed and effect is as natural and necessary as the way of the sun and the moon.
  4. Dhamma Niyama - order of the norm, e.g., the natural phenomena occurring at the advent of a Bodhisattva in his last birth. Gravitation and other similar laws of nature. The natural reason for being good and so forth, may be included in this group.
  5. Citta Niyama - order or mind or psychic law, e.g., processes of consciousness, arising and perishing of consciousness, constituents of consciousness, power of mind, etc., including telepathy, telaesthesia, retro-cognition, premonition, clairvoyance, clairaudience, thought-reading and such other psychic phenomena which are inexplicable to modern science.

Now you have an idea basically 95% of our present due to our Karmic actions. Lord Buddha before enlightened [we called "Bodhisathwa"] as bodhisathwa met 512,027 Buddha's and traveled "Suwisi Asankya Kalpalakshya" to experienced this world and find the path to overcome this continuous rebirth and stop birth again and again. For well understanding of those periods read this article: Explanation of time periods

Buddha gave one example for kalpa: take 1 Yoduna = 16 Miles depth height and width tank and filled with Mustard. Then every 100 year one seed removed from the tank. Lord Buddha said one day tank will be finished but kalpa not finished. Maha Kalpa includes 4 Anthak Kalpas One Antha kalpa includes 256 kalpas.

Now you have basic idea of the traveling of this Samsara through the 31 levels with their time periods. Lord buddha said the hells are our main house. For Example If a family has 7 members including mother and father. Once those 5 members married and have 5 separate houses we used to visit our main house and regularly and have family gathering. Similarly because of bad karmas we used to got hells than visiting heavens.

Lord Buddha Said:

“Unimaginable, bhikkhus, is a beginning to the round of births. For beings obstructed by ignorance and fettered by craving migrating and going the round of births a starting point is not evident. It is not easy, bhikkhus, to find a being who has not formerly been one’s mother… been one’s father… one’s brother… sister… son… daughter during this long, long time.”

People those who searching for salvation of these sufferings agonies should follow the buddhism. We have three sufferings:

Within the Buddhist sutras, duḥkha is divided in three categorie:

  1. Dukkha-dukkha:- The suffering of suffering - This includes the physical and mental sufferings of birth, aging, illness, dying; distress from what is not desirable.
  2. Viparinama-dukkha:- The suffering of change - This is the duḥkha of pleasant or happy experiences changing to unpleasant when the causes and conditions that produced the pleasant experiences cease.
  3. Sankhara-dukkha:- , All-pervasive suffering - the duḥkha of conditioned experience. This includes "a basic unsatisfactoriness pervading all existence, all forms of life, because all forms of life are changing, impermanent and without any inner core or substance."[citation needed] On this level, the term indicates a lack of satisfaction, a sense that things never measure up to our expectations or standards.

Also, Buddhism explained How to Occur "Dukka" and how to prevail "Dukka" and how to remove "Dukka" and be free from the rebirth forever. That is called "Nibbana".

I will answer your other questions one by one day by day. Was this article helpful for you. If you want to learn buddhism visit here:- "Loving Kindness" Step by Step Guidance


There is a comment ask about Sansara and Samsara are both same or is it spelling mistake? In a comment I cannot type exact meaning because of limited letters.

The real reason is this. Actual word is "සංසාර" in Sinhala or "Pali". When it typed on Google Convert it gives "Samsara" and some times "Sansara". Because the letter showing like small zero have no representation in English letters. If you type "සං" alone it gives you San [in google convert sinhala to english,] but when you typed the full word "සංසාර" it gives you Samsara. Because of that we can say both are correct .

Hence most of the eminences when the write articles use both words sansara and samsara which gives the same meaning. That is eternal journey that we have in the past and for the future due to "Avidya" or "Moha" because of not knowing the Four Noble Truths. Actually there is no "M" sound and I do not know why google convert used "M" for small zero in Sinhala it is more close to "N". If we right sangsara in English to Sinhala Google convert you can have the exact word "සංසාර". For Some languages Google cannot give the exact translation, instead it gives very close. hence there can be slight spelling and pronunciation changes.

Somewhat tricky with converting languages in between. Just no need to bother so much of the words. Always try to grab the meaning or the concept and try to understand them with the nature. I mean in its features. Example: "Rupa"[ matters]. in it the very first matter "Earth" By the word it means this earth we live. But in its deep meaning goes to Softness to Hardness to softness again. In between you can find different stages water, air, etc. In meditation we are trying to understand then and there hardness as earth.

May Triple Gem bless you!

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  • 1
    Thanks for answering this question with such a detail. I'm still learning as the years go by, like a natural flow of things. It's hard for me to follow all this information and how is useful to me. Maybe I give too much thinking to this. It will be awesome if you have the time to answer all the questions. It'll be a rich post for all of us. Thanks again. Oct 25, 2022 at 18:44
  • Small advise. Buddhism is so simple to follow. only you have to do let it go. See this if you take a cup and turn it upside down and pour water on to it. Can it be able to hold that water no. But turn it other side and you pour water into that cup it will hold. But when it filled up again going out. Similarly, in this long journey of samsara we have field our mind with lot of unnecessary things. we need to remove them all. That is where you need to learn Buddhism. Do not hurry. start step by step from the beginning. Only you need desire, courage, wisdom and mind set towards Nibbana.
    – Sanath
    Oct 25, 2022 at 20:09
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What is "samsara"?

  • samsara is , according to buddhism , all the living beings (not only humans and animals , there are lot of other living things in this univers according to buddhism ) are having a rebirth after death .everytime a living being dies he will be reborn,( where you going to born next will be decided on several facts, I will talk about that later.) samsara means all the lives that a living being will have till he finds the nirvana.

What is Nirvana ?

  • Nirvana is a state of mind where you no longer have any kind of attachment to anything, not even to yourself , not even to nirvana itself, SO when someone achieve this state of mind he will not born again in another life , that is the end of his 'samsara'.

Who is Buddha ?

  • Buddha was the first person to achieve Nirvana. the first person to stop the samsara from happening . As his teaching all the sadness starts with birth . If one is able to stop the birth , he will be able to end all the sadness, that means achieving nirvana.

P.S. I will add things to this answer soon ,

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  • Hello and welcome to Buddhism SE. I noticed you have spelled Samsara with an "n", i.e. "Sansara" numerous of times. Is that an error? I'm not familiar with that kind of spelling of the word.
    – user2424
    Dec 10, 2016 at 17:45
  • @Lanka Thank you . I edited . Actually I didn't know the correct word. Dec 10, 2016 at 17:51
  • @Lanka and theModerator713: Actually, it appears to be a valid variation. puredhamma.net/key-dhamma-concepts-that-have-been-hidden/…
    – Lowbrow
    Dec 10, 2016 at 17:53
  • @Uuu yeah In Sri Lanka , We call it "sansara" with a 'n'. Dec 10, 2016 at 17:57
  • Thanks for the info. If you use that word and its a valid variation then you do not need to edit your post. I just never heard that variation before thats why I asked. Enjoy your time here.
    – user2424
    Dec 10, 2016 at 18:01
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I will give my answer to just one of your questions: Why should someone follow the Buddha?

From my own experience, both reading many of the talks that he gave, and putting them into practice, I've noticed that what he focuses on are the basics of human psychology that were visible to him then, and are still visible to us now. He not only notices what we do, and explains why we do it, but he gives us tools to use to see all this for ourselves, and to put the solutions he provides into practice, and to see for ourselves whether they work or not (they do).

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  • Thanks for the answer Linda, can you share the talks he gave ? May 19, 2021 at 17:55
  • 1
    Hi Germán. I'm not actually referring to any particular talks. Because the Buddha used teaching methods particular to his time, it is not actually possible to see the pattern from one, two, three, or even several suttas. But they are well worth reading, rewarding efforts to understand what he's saying, how he says it, and the whys, over time. You can read them online at suttacentral.net or accesstoinsight.org, or in books like those published by Wisdom (wisdomexperience.org). May 21, 2021 at 11:24
  • Thanks @linda-blanchard Jun 1, 2021 at 19:58
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To answering above few questions. Lord Buddha is everything. Once he is a teacher, master, farmer, king, acertic, artist, singer, preacher, scientist, astrologer, technician, lawyer, doctor, etc etc. Because he is the "Sarwagna" means knows everything. We do not know. But he knows very well. He knows every nook and corner of this world, other Worlds infinite worlds from the past to the present and in the future as well. Because of that he is called as "Sarwagna"

If i ask a question. To whom do you love mostly? Most probably your answer would be Mum or Dad, or your fiance, or else your brother and sisters, or your sons and daughters, all others, but except you. Why ? This is because of ignorance**["Avidya"]**.

Lord buddha understood through his supreme powers that all the creatures including human being, deva's and Brahma's are traveling in this continuous journey of samsara while experiencing below sorrows[Dukkha]

  • Birth is duḥkha,
  • aging is duḥkha,
  • illness is duḥkha,
  • death is duḥkha
  • Sorrow,lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are duḥkha
  • Association with the unbeloved is duḥkha
  • separation from the loved is duḥkha
  • Not getting what is wanted is duḥkha In conclusion, the five clinging-aggregates are duḥkha. Evan Gods and Brahma's are suffering from all these Dukkhas. No need to talk about the Hell Dukkha.

Because of those continuous suffering he asked us to overcome and escape from this agony if we really loving ourselves.

Also, Lord Buddha found the cause of this continuous travelling. That is because of not knowing the four noble truths just because of the ignorance.

Not only that, lord buddha find the way to eradicate these sorrowfulness, and how to stop walking through the mirage of samsara.

Also, Lord Buddha taught us the path that he followed to achieve Nibbana. He taught us through his experience and we have enough evidences that the followers achieved the Nibbana.

Four Nobel Truths are;

  1. Life is suffering (Dukkha) [Dukkha sathya]– our desires and expectations do not conform to the reality of the world, which is in a constant state of flux (Anicca), so we experience Dukkha.

  2. The origin of suffering is attachment[Dukkha Samudaya sathya] – not only do we fail to know reality but we mis-know it. We attribute permanence to impermanence. The physical universe is constant change, but we know it as permanent – change is the only thing there is. Our ideas, the objects that surround us, and our perceptions, are all transient. Even our idea of “self” is a delusion since there is no permanent self. Craving and clinging to these inevitably leads to suffering.

  3. It is possible to end suffering in this life[Dukkha Nirodha sathya] – Like the moksha in Hinduism, nibbana can be realized in life, through discipline and effort. Nibbana means freedom from troubles, worries, ideas, and the annihilation of the illusion of the self where one understands Dhamma – the Buddha’s teaching and becomes an arahant.

  4. The path to cessation of suffering[Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada sathya] – The Middle Way – is a path between the extremes of clinging and aversion, both expressions of attachment, arriving at a state of complete equanimity. It is achieved through the Eightfold Path.

Lean More about 4 Noble Truths check first page below links for other 3 noble truths.

A study guide for 4 Noble Truths

When we talk about Dukkha you should be aware about the past dukkha, present dukkha, and future dukka, as well.

Dukkha samudaya - is the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

Dukkha Nirodha - is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving."

Dukkha Nirodha Gamini Patipada - is the way that we need to follow to stop sufferings and attain Nibbana. The one and only Eight Fold Path Noble EightFold Path

I hope now you got the clear path to follow and achieve Nibbana.

For supporting this Lord buddha asked us to know the reality of this world. For that you need to understand about the ultimate realities. The Chiththa - 1, Chethasika - 52, Rupa -28, Nibban -1

[Learn about 4 Ultimate realities]4

Once you gain the fair knowledge of those above factors you can seek the help of the monk to start meditaion. For that you need to take guidance from the eminante teacher of the meditaion. Lord Buddha taught us 40 meditation methods and we should know how to select one for us according to our behavioural characteristics.

If not you can start with Anapana sathi[Inhale - Exhale]meditaion.

[learn about 40 meditaion methods in brief]5

Kind Advise:

The path lord buddha taught us is very clear. Results also achievable in this world once you fulfill the requirements and it is automatically happening.

There is nothing for us to search or doing experiments and find the results. Lord Buddha never kept us to search and find things. He taught us everything. Only we need to follow the path he taught us exactly. What I have provided here gives you all the answers for the above questions.

Take your time forget all other things that you taught and learn from different places. Just limited to Lord Buddha words and trust those words and follow the path.

May Triple Gem Bless you and soon be able to achieve Nibbana!

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