Buddhisms Basic Principles

in

Buddhism is a religion with rather surprisingly few demands on behavior. This philosophy is guided by what is often referred to as Noble Truths, which actually can be distilled into two tenets.

The first tenet is that to suffer is a natural part of life and that it serves to teach us, and the second tenet is that through righteous choices and living, suffering can be alleviated.

This sounds somewhat familiar to many who have studied religions the world over. These two tenets are actually able to found in most religions around the world, but there are two relatively unique things about Buddhism that are interesting to note. First, Buddha is not a god, but rather an exemplar.

The Concept of Absolute Truth

We don’t need to capitalize on the personal pronouns when we refer to him. He is looked on as a teacher and an illuminator of the path. So the concept of absolute truth coming from a deity is not a part of Buddhism. A second unique thing about Buddhism is that it actually advises a ‘middle of the road’ approach to living. It warns of all kinds of extreme behavior. So the idea of great self-sacrifice is actually not included in the basic principles of Buddha. Self-discipline, however, is.

All in all, Buddhism is a laid back religion that only barely qualifies as a religion, if at all.

It requires no faith, no humbling of oneself before a mighty power, no belief in absolute truth, and very little actual sacrifice on a follower’s part. So, what is interesting to this writer is that Buddhism hasn’t taken the world by storm. Consider, this world has grown increasingly hostile, in general, to the idea of absolute morals and codes. Yet attendance at church is on the rise. What an odd juxtaposition. Buddhism would seem to be the philosophy of choice for the millions of relativists and perspectivists that populate the Earth.

Leave a Comment

Related Posts

The Buddhist Concept of Mindfulness

Mindfulness Insight Meditation: Insight meditation or vipassana takes quite a different approach to that of calm or Samatha meditation. Whereas calm meditation is about concentrating the mind, insight meditation is ... Read More

What is a Buddhist Moment

Moment. Be in the moment. Live in the moment. Be mindful of each moment. Just what is a moment? Anyone who studies Zen, Buddhist meditation techniques or spent time in ... Read More

The Dating of the Historical Buddha

(originally published as A NOTE ON THE DATING OF THE BUDDHA in the Middle Way, Journal of the Buddhist Society of the UK) Most books available on Buddhism place the ... Read More