We humans live with a profound dilemma. We are born and go through extensive training to become "somebody". We live out our lifetime in an unpredictable and changing world, and ultimately die leaving everything and everyone behind. At some point in childhood we become aware of our separate existence and the fact that we will someday not-be. This poses the perennial question: "Who am I, and what will happen to me when I die?"
A Man Called Buddha
by Bradley Andrews and Michael Shohan
All of the world's religions arise as attempts to make sense of this dilemma and to provide solace and meaning in the midst of this perilous journey from birth to death.
More than 2500 years ago an ordinary human being named Siddhartha Gotama made a world-changing discovery. Through years of personal spiritual practice and exploration he "woke up". With this awakening he became a Buddha, or Awakened One. He realized that it is possible to be a live, to have a personality, and engage in the world, and also know that this life is a sort of dream. This realization of our ephemeral nature helps one to take our temporary “self” and its experiences less personally and to have more of a sense of humor about life.
The Buddha traveled and taught in northern India for more than 40 years. Through teaching many thousands of people, he developed a methodology whereby others could cultivate the same experience he had and free themselves from dissatisfaction and suffering.
He taught the Noble Eightfold Path as a systematic training, which individuals can undertake to awaken in the same way he did. Many people experience discovering the Eightfold Path as similar to finding a trail in the forest when one is lost. It is a huge relief to discover that you don’t have to invent a path to awakening. You have only to test to see if the path leads where you want to go and then follow it home.
The word “Noble” is part of the description of the path because as one becomes increasingly free from suffering and sees the interconnected nature of all life there is a natural evolution of love, compassion, happiness, and joy.
Over the course of the next year I will be offering thirty or so talks on the Eightfold Path. You will find them here.
Thank you for joining me on the journey of awakening.
- 1. Introduction and Overview
- 2. The Four Enobling Truths
- 3. Fourth Truth and Impermanence (Anicca)
- 4. Karma
- 5. Dependent Origination
- 6. Wise Speech
- 7. Wise Action
- 8. Wise Livelihood
- 9. Wise Effort
- 10. Wise Mindfulness
- 11. Wise Mindfulness #2 Body
- 12. Feeling/Vedena
- 13. Mindfulness of Mind
- 14. Intro to Five Hindrances
- 15. Mindfulness: Phenomena: Hindrances: Sense Desire
- 16. Hindrances: Ill Will
- 17. Hindrances: Restlessness, Agitation and Worry
- 18. Hindrances: Sloth And Torpor
- 19. Hindrances: Doubt
- 20. Mindfulness Part 1: Seven Enlightenment Factors
- 21. Mindfulness Part 2: The Journey of Awakening
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