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Core Fundamental Teachings of Buddha

Core Fundamental Teachings of Buddha#

  • The history of buddhism and the buddha himself isn’t essential
  • The esotheric, extensive detail, rites, rituals and the number of things are inconesquential
  • The worshipping and blind belief as buddha as a god is also false. He was a human and we are humans.
  • Do not blindly delieve. Independently verify through observation.
  • This is not a religion - with rites, rituals, ceremony and worship
  • The mind is not the brain - it is intangible
  • The problem is craving, desire and attachment. The longing with strong eagerness (craving) - causes the mind to be discontent: sadness, anger, frustration, irritation, annoyance, guilt, shame, fear, boredom, lonliness, shyness, jealousy, resentment, stress, anxiety and many others.
  • To attain a mind that resides permanently peaceful, calm, serene, and content with joy - you need to establish a life practice
  • Meditation and teachers and guides.
  • dedicated to improving our own wisdom, moral conduct, and mental discipline that we will improve the world
  • gradual training and gradual practice to experience gradual progress
  • We can choose to be peaceful, kind, loving, and warm. We can choose to have wholesome interactions with all people. We can develop healthy qualities of the mind with loving-kindness, compassion, generosity along with other qualities that will produce a peaceful and content mind.

There are no rites, rituals, ceremonies, and worship required to attain Enlightenment. If someone explains certain chants that need to be repeated, certain postures the body needs to be trained to acquire, or sells/provides you any external devices that includes bells, strings, clothing, beads, music, statues, special drinks or food, etc. then this person has not attained Enlightenment.

Attaining Enlightenment#

Learn and Implement:

  1. The Three Universal Truths
  2. The Four Noble Truths
  3. The Eight Fold Path
  4. The Five Precepts
  5. The Brahmā-vihāras
  6. The Ten Fetters
  7. The Seven Factors of Enlightenment
  8. Extensive Meditation Training

The Three Wholesome/Unwholesome Roots, The Natural Law of Kamma, The Cycle of Rebirth

The Three Universal Truths#

  1. Impermanence (Pāli: anicca)
  2. Discontentedness (Pāli: dukkha)
  3. Non-Self (Pāli: anattā)

Oftentimes, the mind wants everyone to understand you and attempts to convince others of something. This is not accomplishable as not everyone is going to understand you because that would be permanence.

Not everyone is going to agree with your opinions and views. There are going to be some people who agree with you and others who disagree.

Happiness is impermanent

The unenlightened mind has feelings based on impermanent conditions - leading to discontentedness and suffering.

The teachings allow you to find a mental state in the middle.

Discontentedness describes the mental state when the mind is unsatisfied, displeased, uncalm, or unpeaceful. The mind is shaken up, unsteady, or unstable.

There is no permanent self

The misunderstanding that the mind has thinking there is a permanent self leads to the mind continuously wanting to protect the self image and self identity being unable to remain peaceful and calm when there is a disagreeable experience related to the self image or self identity.

For example, if someone comments about the self image or self identity in a way that the mind agrees with, the mind can experience pleasant feelings. But, if someone comments about the self image or self identity in a way that the mind disagrees with, the mind can experience painful feelings.

When the mind holds on to a permanent self, one can oftentimes become very selfish, self centered, self absorbed, and pursue its own selfish desires. This inhibits a person from being able to observe the life changing wisdom that we are all interconnected and need to improve the way we function in the world through giving and sharing living harmoniously with each other.

Your given name is just a label.

The mind is searching and yearning to discover a self but it can never find one though it continues its pursuit seeking to know and find a self because the mind does not realize there isn’t one.

The Four Noble truths#

Impermanence: Everything is constantly changing and there is no permanent state. Material objects/possessions, relationships, thoughts, ideas, states of mind, everything in the world is constantly changing. All conditioned feelings will cease to exist. All that arises will cease to exist. There is no steady, constant, or fixed mental state other than Enlightenment.

  1. First Noble Truth: Everyone that is unEnlightened will experience discontentedness.
  2. Second Noble Truth: Discontentedness is caused by our own cravings/desires/attachments because the mind wants everything to be permanent when everything in the world is impermanent.
  3. Third Noble Truth: The elimination of discontentedness is possible by eliminating cravings/desires/attachments.
  4. Fourth Noble Truth: The path to eliminating discontentedness is The Eight Fold Path.

The goal in life is not to be happy, as that is an impermanent feeling. When the mind is not happy, it will move to sadness, anger, or worse.

The goal in life is to develop a peaceful, calm, serene, and content mind with joy free of cravings/desires/attachments that is “satisfied with what is… - the Enlightened mind.

You need to accept responsibility for your own discontent mind and the emotions you experience. Rather than blaming pleasant feelings, painful feelings, and feelings that are neither painful-nor-pleasant on someone or something external, see the truth that you cause your own discontent mind.

the mind is deeply trained to no longer base its inner feelings on some impermanent condition.

You can resolve the discontentedness in your own mind but you cannot resolve the discontentedness of someone else’s mind, only they can do that.

The unEnlightened mind will constantly blame others for the difficulties and struggles it faces rather than accepting responsibility for its own decisions that are leading it to discontentedness. This is “wrong view”

Meditation#

Anapannasatti (Breathing Mindfulness Meditation)#

3 Universal Teachings#

  1. Universal Love for all Beings
  2. Do not harm
  3. Be a good moral person

Gotama Buddha’s goal was to provide Teachings that gave the mind a place where it could be permanently peaceful, calm, serene, and content with joy.

Everything in this practice is obtained through personal choice.

unaffected by everyday challenges that produce sadness, worry, anger, stress, anxiety, and other discontent feelings

Happiness is impermanent - craving happiness is the reason we are not achieving lasting happiness

Eight Fold Path#

wisdom:

  • right view - no self and the 4 noble truths - descontent arises from within not externally
  • right intention - non-illwill and harmlessness - kind, positive and wholesome thoughts and intentions

moral conduct:

  • right speech - refrain from lying, slander, harsh or frivolous speech
  • right action - refrain from killing, theft and misconduct
  • right livelihood

mental discipline:

  • right effort - stir up will and energy
  • right mindfulness - having set aside craving and worry - aware and mindful
  • right concentration - tranquility of the mind - serene and calm
Right Intention#
  • Renunciation - Actively letting go
  • Non-ill-will - Loving kindness, wanting all beings to be well - even yourself
  • Harmlessness - Thinking and indenting only good things - any harm you do will be returned to you through kamma.
Right Speech#

The five factors of well spoken speech:

  • Spoken at the proper time
  • What is said is True
  • Spoken gently
  • It is beneficial
  • With a Mind of Loving-kindness
  • Blameless

If you make people work hard to understand what you are attempting to share, people will be less and less interested in communicating with you

While on the surface sarcasm may seem humorous and harmless, but in reality the true intention behind sarcasm is oftentimes malicious and with ill intent

No one enjoys being blamed for anything or made to feel as if they are at fault.

If you don’t have anything nice to say - say nothing at all

Right Livelihood#

Is your daily activities wholesome and helpful.

In some cases, a person may choose to pursue personal interests and skills rather than financial goals or a career. A stay at home parent is still a livelihood as this is a contribution to society and humanity.

Life-sustaining activities.

For those who do generate income through their livelihood, focus on finding something you enjoy that happens to also provide financial support. This will ensure the best outcome and enthusiasm for your daily life. If you select a livelihood solely on the bases of making money, acquiring wealth, power, prestige, or a specific title, then you will find the mind will struggle to perform your duties and responsibilities on an ongoing consistent basis perhaps even becoming bored or disinterested.

Finding a livelihood where you can acquire an income, help others, and you enjoy the activities required on a daily basis, will ensure that you never “work” one day in your life.

Avoid:

  • scheming - corruption / deception
  • flattery - excessive insincere praise
  • Hinting - Suggest using subterfuge - manipulate
  • Belittling - Talking down to others - diminishing the achievements of other
  • Pursuing gain-with-gain - doing work just for profit and greed - no help to humanity

Right Effort#

  • Prevent unwholesome mental states arising
  • Abandon unwholesome mental states arising in the mind
  • Produce un-arisen wholesome mental states - practice generousity and compassion
  • Maintain wholesome mental states

Right Mindfulness#

  • Aware of the mind at the present moment - not dwelling onfuture or past moments.
  • To develop awareness of mind, you should not allow the mind to be lost in daydreams, anticipation, indulgences, worry, or dwell in other discontent feelings.

Right Concentration#

  • Then, in daily life one should train the mind to only focus on one thing at a time to develop higher degrees of concentration or “singleness of mind
  • Focusing on the breath is singleness of mind

Nothing lasts forever, all “things” will cease to exist including all of humanity.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment#

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Investigation - Research, study
  3. Energy - Effort, motivation, Ambition, Willingness
  4. Joy - unconditioned gladness
  5. Tranquility - Relaxed, Peacefulness, Steadiness
  6. Concentration - singleness of mind, keep attention on one thing
  7. Equanimity - Mental calmness, composure, treating everyone impartially

10 Fetters#

Aspects to be eliminated

Lower fetters:

  • Personal existence view - realisation of the non-self
  • Doubt - have confidence in the buddha, the teachings, yourself
  • Wrong behaviour and observances - the eightfold path - not rites and rituals
  • Sensual desire - desire from the senses
  • Ill Will - hostility, anger and aggression

Higher fetters:

  • Desire for form - elimination of fear of death
  • Desire for the formless - elimation of desire or fear of formless realms - heaven or hell
  • Conceit - arrogance, pride, judging, comparing and measuring as superior or inferior. Ego dissolved.
  • Restlessness - elimination of confusion, distraction, anxiousness (singleness of mind)
  • Ignorance - Learning, Reflection and Wisdom

The Middle way#

When the mind holds onto things too tightly, the mind is muddled and unconcentrated. The mind does not perform optimally. When the mind is too loose, the mind is muddled and unconcentrated as complacency and laziness will arise.

A Practitioner will need to find the middle where it can pursue goals and objectives but also find time for rest and relaxation.

the goal is not to be happy. The goal is to be peaceful, calm, serene, and content with joy or to be “satisfied with what is”, “satisfied the way things are”

It simply means that when we feel those emotions, we need to recognize them as being impermanent and train the mind to come back to the middle where it can reside peaceful, calm, serene, and content with joy.

Apply effort to bring the mind to the middle.

If energy is aroused too forcefully this leads to restlessness, and if energy is too soft this leads to complacency.

Sources#