the eightfold path

Zen and Buddhism

Zen is a line of Buddhism. All Zen is Buddhism, but not all Buddhism is Zen. Zen comes from the term zazen, which is Japanese for meditation.

There are lots of Buddhist practices. Zen is the practice of realizing just what the Buddha realized, which is the way to stop suffering.

If you want to know Zen, study a mirror until you don’t know which side you are on. If you want to know Buddhism study the life of the Buddha.

Zen is fun because it has crazy methods to try to help you get beyond your thinking and feel the fundamental joy of life. Buddhism is fun because it teaches the same thing.

My teacher told me that if anybody asks me what Zen is, I should just hit the floor twice, thwat, thwat. If you get into a Zen practice, that could make a little sense.

All Buddhism teaches that life contains suffering, there is a cause of suffering, an end to suffering and there is a way to end suffering. Those are called the Four Noble Truths. The way to end suffering is the Eightfold Path, which is right speech, right thought, right livelihood, right intention, right action, right effort, right concentration and right view.

There are a billion ways to interpret what is right and how to follow the path.

The underlying idea is that we are something more than what we think we are. We are something less than we think we are. We are not what we think we are. We are exactly what we think we are. When we realize that, there is nothing to cause us suffering.

The Noble Eightfold Path:

or at least how I explain it.


(wisdom)

1. Right View

Always seeing the world exactly as it is; there will be pain, there will be suffering, there will be death. And that is okay.

2. Right Intention

Always living with the best intentions, free from ill will.

(ethical conduct)

3. Right Speech

Never using speech to intentionally hurt others. Always thinking of how your words might affect others. No lying, bullying, or hate speech.

4. Right Action

Taking action to be a better person and never harm others. No stealing, no killing or harming living beings, no misconduct or over indulgence of sex, drugs, or alcohol.

5. Right Livelihood

Don’t live in a way, or take part in activities or occupations, that will cause direct or indirect harm to other living beings. (that’s right people, no circuses)

(concentration)

6. Right Effort

Always putting effort into being a better person and making the world a better place, and never giving up on that.

7. Right Mindfulness

Always being the best you can be for YOURSELF. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally and always showing yourself love and compassion.

8. Right Concentration

Focusing all your energy into reaching enlightenment, concentrating on being the best version of yourself and doing all you can to make your time here on this planet count. Always concentrating on radiating positivity.

The Noble Eightfold Path/Dharmachakra wheel

Right vision, or understanding: understanding that life always involves change and suffering; realising that following the Noble Eightfold Path is the way to overcome suffering and be really happy.

Right emotion: commiting oneself to wholeheartedly following the path.

Right speech: speaking in a positive and helpful way; speaking the truth.

Right action: living an ethical life acording to the precepts.

Right livelihood: doing work that doesn’t harm others and is helpful to them.

Right effort: thinking in a kindly and positive way.

Right mindfulness: being fully aware of oneself, other people, and the world around you.

Right meditation, or concentration: training the mind to be calm and positive in order to develop Wisdom.

Five Mindfulness Trainings

by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Five Mindfulness Trainings represent the Buddhist vision for a global spirituality and ethic. They are a concrete expression of the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path, the path of right understanding and true love, leading to healing, transformation, and happiness for ourselves and for the world. To practice the Five Mindfulness Trainings is to cultivate the insight of interbeing, or Right View, which can remove all discrimination, intolerance, anger, fear, and despair. If we live according to the Five Mindfulness Trainings, we are already on the path of a bodhisattva. Knowing we are on that path, we are not lost in confusion about our life in the present or in fears about the future.

1. Reverence For Life

Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of interbeing and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.

2. True Happiness

Aware of the suffering caused by exploitation, social injustice, stealing, and oppression, I am committed to practicing generosity in my thinking, speaking, and acting. I am determined not to steal and not to possess anything that should belong to others; and I will share my time, energy, and material resources with those who are in need. I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering; that true happiness is not possible without understanding and compassion; and that running after wealth, fame, power and sensual pleasures can bring much suffering and despair. I am aware that happiness depends on my mental attitude and not on external conditions, and that I can live happily in the present moment simply by remembering that I already have more than enough conditions to be happy. I am committed to practicing Right Livelihood so that I can help reduce the suffering of living beings on Earth and reverse the process of global warming.

3. True Love

Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I am committed to cultivating responsibility and learning ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families, and society. Knowing that sexual desire is not love, and that sexual activity motivated by craving always harms myself as well as others, I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without true love and a deep, long-term commitment made known to my family and friends. I will do everything in my power to protect children from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families from being broken by sexual misconduct. Seeing that body and mind are one, I am committed to learning appropriate ways to take care of my sexual energy and cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and inclusiveness – which are the four basic elements of true love – for my greater happiness and the greater happiness of others. Practicing true love, we know that we will continue beautifully into the future.

4. Loving Speech and Deep Listening

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.

5. Nourishment and Healing

Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I am committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I will practice looking deeply into how I consume the Four Kinds of Nutriments, namely edible foods, sense impressions, volition, and consciousness. I am determined not to gamble, or to use alcohol, drugs, or any other products which contain toxins, such as certain websites, electronic games, TV programs, films, magazines, books, and conversations. I will practice coming back to the present moment to be in touch with the refreshing, healing and nourishing elements in me and around me, not letting regrets and sorrow drag me back into the past nor letting anxieties, fear, or craving pull me out of the present moment. I am determined not to try to cover up loneliness, anxiety, or other suffering by losing myself in consumption. I will contemplate interbeing and consume in a way that preserves peace, joy, and well-being in my body and consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family, my society and the Earth.

The Dharmachakra or ‘Wheel of the Dharma’ represents Gautama Buddha’s teachings. The circle symbolizes the completeness of the Dharma, the spokes represent the eightfold path leading to enlightenment: Right faith, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavor, right mindfulness, and right meditation.

The Buddha’s First Teaching

‘Hundreds of years ago, under a sacred fig tree in Bodh Gaya, India, the Buddha woke up; he realized deep awakening. His first thought upon awakening was the realization that every living being has this capacity to wake up. He wanted to create a path that would help others realize insight and enlightenment. The Buddha did not want to create a religion. To follow a path you don’t have to believe in a creator.

After the Buddha was enlightened, he enjoyed sitting under the Bodhi tree, doing walking meditation along the banks of the Neranjara River, and visiting a nearby lotus pond. The children from nearby Uruvela village would come to visit him. He sat and ate fruit with them and gave them teachings in the form of stories. he wanted to share his experience of practice and awakening with his closest five friends and old partners in practice. He heard they were now living in the Deer Park near Benares. It took him about two weeks to walk from Bodh Gaya to the Deer Park, I imagine he enjoyed every step.

In his very first teaching to his five friends, the Buddha talked about the path of ethics. He said that the path to insight and enlightenment was the noble eightfold path, also called the eight ways of correct practice. The eightfold path is the fourth of the Buddha’s four noble truths. If we understand the four noble truths and use their insight to inform our actions in our daily lives, then we are on the path to peace and happiness.’

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society.

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Where there’s a “wheel” there’s a way. ☸️ I’m so in love with my Jhené Aiko inspired dharma wheel. I fell in love with the placement and meaning behind the eightfold path/ dharma wheel, so I added this beauty to my collection with a little twist. Fangirling hard af since 2012 😂🤗💜

anonymous asked:

So I inherited several statues of pu-tai from my now deceased grandma what should I do?

That is a false god dear one he was known as the laughing Buddha.  

Buddhism: Buddhism also believes that heaven, or “Nirvana,” is to be rejoined in spirit with god. Reaching Nirvana, a transcendental, blissful, spiritual state, requires following the Eightfold Path. This includes understanding the universe, and acting, speaking, and living in the right manner and with the right intentions. Mastering these and the other of the eight paths will return a worshipper’s spirit to god.

The existence of so many religions and the claim that all religions lead to God without question confuses many who are earnestly seeking the truth about God, with the end result sometimes being that some despair of ever reaching the absolute truth on the subject. Or they end up embracing the universalist claim that all religions lead to God. Of course, skeptics also point to the existence of so many religions as proof that either you cannot know God or that God simply does not exist.

Romans 1:19-21 contains the biblical explanation for why there are so many religions. The truth of God is seen and known by every human being because God has made it so. Instead of accepting the truth about God and submitting to it, most human beings reject it and seek their own way to understand God. But this leads not to enlightenment regarding God, but to futility of thinking. Here is where we find the basis of the “many religions.”

Many people do not want to believe in a God who demands righteousness and morality, so they invent a God who makes no such requirements. Many people do not want to believe in a God who declares it impossible for people to earn their own way to heaven. So they invent a God who accepts people into heaven if they have completed certain steps, followed certain rules, and/or obeyed certain laws, at least to the best of their ability. Many people do not want a relationship with a God who is sovereign and omnipotent. So they imagine God as being more of a mystical force than a personal and sovereign ruler.

The existence of so many religions is not an argument against God’s existence or an argument that truth about God is not clear. Rather, the existence of so many religions is demonstration of humanity’s rejection of the one true God. Mankind has replaced Him with gods that are more to their liking. This is a dangerous enterprise. The desire to recreate God in our own image comes from the sin nature within us—a nature that will eventually “reap destruction” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Do all religions lead to God? No. All people—religious or otherwise—will stand before God some day (Hebrews 9:27), but religious affiliation is not what determines your eternal destiny. Only faith in Jesus Christ will save. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). It’s as simple as that. Only Christianity—faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—leads to God’s forgiveness and eternal life. No one comes to the Father except through the Son (John 14:6). It does make a difference what you believe. The decision to embrace the truth about Jesus Christ is important. Eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong.  I hope that your precious Grandmother knew Jesus before she passed on.

Those statues are false idols and you should not keep them dear one.  Your grandmother was precious to you I am sure.  Remember your love for her and the good things that you did together.  I would not keep those.  I hope that this helps you dear one.  God bless you!!!  Maranatha!!!  :):)

Language and Zen Practice

‘Language is, on the one hand, a prison: we are literally locked inside language, created by, defined by language, and can only see as far as we can say. On the other hand, language can also free us: it can open our imagination and allow us to reach out to the world - and far beyond it. This is what poets try to do. They always fail, but the point is not to succeed but to make the attempt.

In Zen practice we are always trying to stand within language in a fresh way, to open up the hand of thought, and play with language and let language play with us. This means we come to understand and dwell within language in many ways. Each word means something and not something else. But also each word is gone even as we speak it, and so it isn’t anything. When we speak about something we might think we are understanding it or controlling it, but that is not so. When we are speaking about something we are also - and mainly - speaking about nothing. Speaking is just being ourselves, expressing ourselves. When we get tangled up in the something we are speaking about we suffer.

All language is singing. Music doesn’t have any describable meaning, yet it is vital to our lives. But we don’t know this. We hold on to objects we have created with our language, objects that don’t exist as we imagine that they do, and we suffer. If we could experience language as it really is for us, we could be free from the suffering language creates. This doesn’t mean that we would be free from pain or sorrow. Only that we would be free from the special sort of anguish that human beings feel when they are lonely and estranged from themselves, others, and the world.

This thought lies at the heart of Buddhism. The first three practices of the eightfold path are right view, right intention, and right speech. these make right conduct possible, and when there is right conduct, there can be meditation practice and mindfulness, which lead to wisdom, thereby reinforcing right view. So from the first, the Buddha saw that our language conditions our spirituality through our views, intentions, and uttered words, and that training in an increased awareness of this process has to be the starting point for spiritual practice. In later Buddhist thought this insight was strengthened and made more explicit with the teachings on emptiness, which understands the nature of reality to be “mere designation.”

- Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Beyond Language: Finding Freedom through Thoughts and Words, from the Summer 2011 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.

anonymous asked:

Youre a Buddhist so I was wondering can nonbuddhists practice Buddhism?

Yoga isn’t Buddhist in origin. Buddhists kinda took yoga and use it to practice our spirituality. Like Christians don’t own meditation. So, I may be Buddhist and that may be the context that many Westerners hear yoga in, but they are not inherent to each other. Yoga fits in because there are branches to it that we can use to practice our spirituality. What most Westerners practice and I myself practice largely is called hatha yoga. It is the physical aspect (going into tree pose, lunge, etc.) of yoga and is valuable to Buddhists because mindfulness of action is part of the Eightfold Path. 

It also allows a calming of the mind before meditation sessions, another part of the Eightfold Path. Many other branches of yoga that I could get into have additional benefits to Buddhism.

So, in short, absolutely not and if a Buddhist says that nonBuddhists or Westerners cannot practice yoga, then they do not know Buddhism. 

Happiness means feeling you are on the right path every moment. You don’t need to arrive at the end of the path in order to be happy. The right path refers to the very concrete ways you live your life in every moment. In Buddhism, we speak of the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. It’s possible for us to live the Noble Eightfold Path every moment of our daily lives. That not only makes us happy, it makes people around us happy. If you practice the path, you become very pleasant, very fresh, and very compassionate.
—  Thich Nhat Hanh
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Let’s talk about something kind of simple. When I search on tumblr for “Buddha” or “Buddhism” I find a lot of correlation with smoking pot and getting high. To you people: you are missing the point. Read a little more about The Eightfold Path and actually take the time to understand what Buddhism is about. In order to obtain Nirvana, you must be free of all mind altering substances… (I’m certainly not saying stop smoking, I don’t care what you do, but mixing Buddha with it is a bit disappointing.) Is this unjust?