An Efficient Guide on How To Practice Buddhism
If yes, then you must have a lot of questions regarding it.
The Buddhist path has a lot of entry points. With so many teachings available, you will get overwhelmed.
So, let’s get crackin’.
Buddhism is understood as a way of life by some, a religion by many, and a philosophy by others. In reality, Buddhism is a nontheistic tradition. It means that there is no prominence of a creator on any deity.
In Tricycle’s masterpiece “10 Misconceptions about Buddhism“, they mention that many Buddhists throughout history did not practice mediation. There are many factors on the pieces and path to living a complete life than mediating a few times a day.
Buddhism is based on four common truths. These are known as noble truths as they liberate people from suffering. The four noble truths are the main schoolings of the Buddha, covering the entire Buddhist path.
Let’s see what these noble truths are: teachings
4) The Path
You can also wake up.
Siddhartha Gautama is the famous Gautama Buddha. Gautama Buddha was a mendicant, monk, philosopher, sage, religious leader, and teacher, and Buddhism was founded on his teachings. He taught and lived in the northeastern part of ancient India between the 6th and 4th BCE.
The struggle of finding food
Unable to find a place of security, they made the idea of God to get peace in good times and courage in difficult times. To this day, people get more religious when they are confronted with a problem. We often hear that they believe in God or Gods because it gives them the strength to deal with life.
And they will tell you that they believe in a God just because they prayed in trying times, and it was answered.
This does back the Buddha’s teaching that the idea of God is made because of frustration and fear. He taught the followers to understand fear, decrease desires, and courageously accept things that are not in their control. He substituted fear with rational belief rather than irrational.
The second reason Buddhism does not believe in God is that there is no evidence supporting the idea. Many religions are claiming that they have preserved the words of God in holy books. They understand God’s nature and that God exists. Some religions only believe in their God and don’t believe in the existence of other gods.
On the other hand, some claim that God is a male, some think it’s a female, and others believe it’s neuter. They are satisfied that there is a lot of evidence to prove their claims, but they laugh at the beliefs of others. Buddhists don’t believe in a thing until they see evidence of it.
The third reason Buddhists don’t believe in a God is that they think that it’s not necessary. Some feel that belief in a God is essential to explain the origin of the entire universe. Some think that belief in God is vital to have a meaningful and happy life. While others believe that God’s power is critical for humans because they are weak. People can’t help themselves.
But Buddha believed humans could purify their minds, develop unlimited compassion and love, and perfect understanding. So he moved the attention from the heavens to the hearts of his people. Buddha encouraged people to find solutions to their problems by understanding themselves.
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Work towards helping others come out of sufferings, including both physical and mental. To get there, reach nirvana, which can only be achieved by following the Middle Way, also known as the Noble Eightfold Path.
Instead, it has eight lessons which are
For most of our life, we are dictated by our wants and needs in everyday life. We want the shiniest and latest car, the biggest mansion and much more. But these cravings of material goods are totally against everything Buddhism is based on.
These are very different from the commandments that Christians follow. Hence, these are not the regulations and rules laid down by God. Instead, these are fundamental, lifelong undertakings you have to live by to become the best version of yourself.
Here are the Five Precepts that you will need to follow:
Most Buddhists are vegetarian by choice to fulfill this precept. They don’t want to break the number one rule by killing an animal for food. Many perceive it as a principle to end all kinds of wars, and many apply it in the same sense.
The second precept for practicing Buddhism involves refraining from taking what doesn’t belong to you. It’s usually known as stealing, and it’s a straightforward way of endangering others and causing suffering. Do not steal is also implemented to discourage exploitation and using people for your benefit.
It’s the third precept of practicing Buddhism to reform from sexual misconduct or the inappropriate use of senses. In spiritual tradition, it’s mainly applied to things like being unfaithful or engaging in adultery. Buddhists don’t commit any kind of sexual offenses or overindulge in sex.
Hence, Buddhist people and Buddhist monks who follow this faith seriously, usually take vows of celibacy. They feel that sex is a distraction from the rightful teachings of enlightenment. It’s also a way of making sure you adhere to the third and the most important precept.
Buddhists who follow this precept have to say things that are considered valuable and well-meaning. Speech is related to listening. And when you follow this precept, you should also be a good listener and avoid talking out of turn. It causes suffering through interactions and speech.
The fifth and the last precept is that you should not use any drugs that cloud your judgment. Thus, it means that you can’t use alcohol, drugs, and other intoxicants because they hinder your expedition towards enlightenment. It only causes suffering.
The main reason for abstaining from drugs is to have an alert and clear mind. A mind that is focused on reaching enlightenment and meditation. A few Buddhists also replicate this on their own thoughts and implement this precept to mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? It’s a technique that has its roots in Buddhism. It’s the ability to be aware of your own feelings, thoughts, and sensations. Hence, residing in the present and clearing your mind of different thoughts.
Consequently, it can be practiced by meditating, which is another critical attribute of Buddhism and can help people reach enlightenment. Thus allowing you to start Buddhist practice and follow basic daily Buddhist practice.
With the facts and beliefs explained, let’s now look at some tips that can help you practice Buddhism. It will help you answer your question, how to practice Buddhism in-depth and follow basic Buddhist teachings:
1) Gather Merit
Firstly, it is to get the ability to cultivate compassion and to have an altruistic motivation and do things that help others. It assists people in a good way, such as providing advice and being generous, patient, disciplined, etc. Therefore, it is essential to develop these types of qualities and do things sincerely.
Furthermore, someone who thinks of themselves as Buddhist believes in “practicing generosity downward” and “making offerings upward.” This means that a person must make offerings upwardly to their objects of refuge. These objects of refuge are spiritual teachers, Buddhas, and sangha – the community’s practitioners.
Through such types of actions that are made on pure motivation, people gather merit. Hence, the result is that they can encounter fewer hindrances and obstacles in this life, they get their aims fulfilled, and things work out smoothly for them.
Other than gathering merit, Buddhists also need good role models who they can follow. For example, the Buddha Shakyamuni passed into Parinirvana 2500 years ago, yet his teachings remain upheld and embodied in today’s qualified and genuine dharma teachers.
Such teachers are fantastic role models for Buddhists. All Buddhists follow their teachings and examples. So, if you want to practice Buddhism, find yourself a kind-hearted role model. Someone with exceptional qualities you can look up to and emulate. Your shared role model will obviously be Buddha Shakyamuni.
Such beliefs are exceptionally vital for dharma practitioners. Since these practitioners need to unwind the true meaning and intent of Buddha’s teaching – the natural, innate state, you need to understand this and see how to train in it. You can follow a good dharma teacher as an example. Once you follow their teachings, it will enhance and boost your understanding of the natural state.
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Ask yourself, “Ok, which qualities are required to fulfill this role? How should I do it? Which details are needed?”
However, it can be hard to listen to and learn from people, but you need to do it. And lastly, change yourself. If you don’t have certain required qualities, remember to acquire them. If you see that you have specific faults, transform these faults into good qualities. Don’t ignore them. Otherwise, you will never see the change you want.
With that being said, develop the determination and wish to get enlightenment. This is what bodhicitta – the mind of enlightenment is. So as followers receive honest dharma teachings intelligently from suitable teachers. And reflect upon their teachings genuinely while putting them to good use.
At times we come across challenges and problems in our monotonous lives, or we face failures.
Imagine, “Ok, I didn’t prosper here. Why is that? What did I do wrong? What is missing? And consider everything as an experience. Then begin removing the flaws and faults that resulted in the problem so that you can succeed the next time.
Thus, feel confident: Yes, I can get enlightenment. I can help others, including your family. I can assist the sangha and benefit sentient beings. I can achieve it, and I can live a meaningful and joyful life. Nurture your inner dignity and your confidence in this way, even while facing challenges.
This type of dignity is a paramount quality, and for practitioners, it is indispensable. Kyabje Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says that if you don’t have dignity, you can’t succeed in practicing dharma, especially meditation.
Why? Because dignity is a type of courage, an unwavering and decisive certainty. It can’t be a hesitant or shaky state of mind. You can’t have thoughts like, “Oh, I don’t know if meditation will be beneficial for me.” You absolutely can’t do this.
A few people know the dharma, they comprehend it, but they still question things. It’s a visible sign of a lack of confidence. Obviously, if you can’t understand something or don’t know it, you can ask questions, and you should do that.
If you are one of the Vajrayana practitioners, also appeal to your supreme yidam deity and gurus. And train in getting divine dignity. Make supplications in whichever approach you pick to get inner dignity. All these will show you how to practice Buddhism and follow the noble eightfold path.
Yes, everyone is free to adopt the path of Buddhism. For that, you have to start living in the Triple Gem and then follow a ceremony. During that ceremony, you will have to take a vow stating that you will uphold the five precepts, not to kill, steal, engage in sexual activity, lie, or take drugs.
You will have to follow the right path, no matter how hard it is. It requires determination, firm belief, and steadfastness. Otherwise, it will be pretty easy for you to drift away from the path of enlightenment.
To get some inspiration, read up on the lives of all the Buddhas and how they did meditation practice. It will reveal how to get rid of inner desires that lead to failure. Do ample research and then act on this belief. The more you know about Buddhism, the easier it will be for you to adapt to this lifestyle and follow the noble eightfold path.
If you have your mindset on following Buddhist practice, you need to stay firm and determined. It will be challenging at the start; you will come across many desires. But don’t let it change your beliefs. If you stick to it, you will get to the point of enlightenment and do meditation practice.
Hence, don’t let minor setbacks drift you away from your noble eightfold path. You can do this, and you will succeed at it.
Here are the two main countries and the percentage of Buddhists living in them ✺
A: The Buddhist canon has Sutras. These are the teachings and words of the Buddha. In addition to this, there are a few noncanonical Buddhist texts that give supplementary teachings, commentary on transitional states, and rules of conduct. The Mahayana Sutras, the Tripitaka (Pali Canon), and the Tibetan Book of the Dead are the primary noncanonical Buddhist texts.
The Pali Canon is also recognized as “the word of Buddha,” which consists of a few of the Buddha’s discourses. But it also has the teachings of all the pupils. Various sects of Buddhists follow noncanonical and canonical scriptures to different degrees.