2018 Community Retreat spaces available *Please enquire
2018 Community Retreat spaces available*Please enquire

So What's It All About? ..... Buddhism that is!

When you hear something about Buddhism  you may visualise; huge golden idols, red and yellow-robed monks, colourful prayer flags and an atmosphere thick with the fumes of exotic incense.
 
Let's have a look at what Buddhism really is:

Buddhism is basically a method of cultivating the mind.
 
It is true that, with its monastic tradition and its emphasis on ethical factors, it possesses many of the surface characteristics that Westerners associate with religion.
 
​ However, it does not subscribe to the belief of a greater being or a God, since it affirms that the universe is governed by impersonal laws and not by any creator-god; it has no use for prayer, the Buddha was a teacher and not a god; and it regards devotion not as a religious obligation but as a means of expressing gratitude to its founder and as a means of self-development. Thus it is not a religion at all from these points of view.

 

 

 
Buddhism knows faith only in the sense of confidence in the way recommended by the Buddha. 
 
A Buddhist is not expected to have faith or to believe in anything merely because the Buddha said it, or because it is written in the ancient books, or because it has been handed down by tradition, or because others believe it. 

He may, of course, agree with himself to take the Buddha-doctrine as a working hypothesis and to have confidence in it; but he is not expected to accept anything unless his reason accepts it. 

This does not mean that everything can be demonstrated rationally, for many points lie beyond the scope of the intellect and can be understood only by the development of higher faculties.

But the fact remains that there is no need for blind acceptance of anything in the Buddha-doctrine.

Is Buddhism A Religion?

 

To many people Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. It is a philosophy because philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. The Buddhist path can be summed up as; to lead a moral life, to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and to develop wisdom and understanding. This can lead to happiness for oneself and others. Developing compassion, the wanting to end the suffering of others is fundamental to Buddhist philosophy and is the foundation for all practice.

 

 
Buddhism is practiced by about 500 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened. When he was 29 he set off to sit at the feet of the great religious teachers of the day to learn from them. They taught him much but none really knew the cause of human suffering and how it could be overcome. Eventually, after six years study and meditation he had an experience in which all ignorance fell away and he suddenly understood, the experience was 'Enlightenment'

Wisdom

 

Buddhism teaches that wisdom should be developed with compassion. At one extreme, you could be kindhearted but a  fool and at the other extreme, you could attain knowledge without any emotion or compassion. Buddhism uses the middle path to develop both compassion and wisdom. True wisdom is not simply, believing what we are told but instead experiencing and understanding truth and reality. Wisdom requires an open, objective, unbigoted mind. The Buddhist path requires courage, patience, flexibility and intelligence.

Other Beliefs

 
Buddhism is a belief system which is tolerant of all other beliefs or religions. Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions but Buddhism goes further by providing a long term purpose within our existence, through wisdom and true understanding. Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Moslem', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.

~ The Dalai Lama ~ 
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a man of peace.  
In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet.  He has consistently advocated policies of non-violence, even in the face of extreme aggression.
 His Holiness has travelled to more than 62 countries spanning 6 continents.  He has met with presidents, prime ministers and crowned rulers of major nations.  He has held dialogues with the heads of different religions and many well-known scientists.
 Since 1959 His Holiness has received over 84 awards, honorary doctorates, prizes, etc, in recognition of his message of peace, non-violence, inter-religious understanding, universal responsibility and compassion.  His Holiness has also authored more than 72 books.

 

His Holiness describes himself as a simple Buddhist monk.

Visit Buddhanet
Buddhist Information and Education Network 

Visit Dalailama.com
 Dedicated to creating awareness of the life and work of His Holiness

Visit FreeTibet.org
Information on the plight of Tibet

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We are looking for a Retreat Manager from March 2018.

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Please write to us via our Contact Page for more information - Metta

 

Peace of mind - "the absence of mental stress or anxiety"

 
All living beings have the same basic wish to be happy and avoid suffering, but very few people understand the real causes of happiness and suffering.

We generally believe that external conditions e.g. material posessions and money are the real causes of happiness, and as a result we devote time and energy to acquiring these.

Superficially it seems that these things can make us happy, but if we look more deeply we shall see that they also bring us suffering and problems.

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