Jump to content
  • Welcome to the TransPulse Forums!

    We offer a safe, inclusive community for transgender and gender non-conforming folks, as well as their loved ones, to find support and information.  Join today!


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest Zenda

The Buddha's Teachings[in A Nutshell]

Recommended Posts

Guest Zenda

Kia Ora,

Many people in the West tend to see Buddhism as somewhat pessimistic because of the term 'suffering'='unsatisfactory' and that we believe life is full of suffering, however if one takes time to study what the Buddha 'actually' taught, they will find it is a path way towards the end of 'suffering'='unsatisfactoriness'... through[what modern day psychologist call] 'postitive psychology'...

:rolleyes: For those interested in the ‘foundations’ of the Buddha’s teachings in a nutshell…[Well a reasonable size nutshell that is]…. ;)

"The Buddha himself is revered not as a deity or supernatural being but as a very special kind of human being. He was a human who achieved the ultimate in development of his human potential. The Buddha taught that this achievement is within the reach of every human being, and he spent his life teaching a practical methodology which, if followed with purity of mind and great diligence, would enable others to reach the same objective. In other words, he taught a method rather than a doctrine. When questioned about the validity of his teachings, the Buddha did not refer to the higher authority of a deity. He explained that his teachings were based on his own direct personal experience, and he invited all who were interested to test for themselves whether the method he taught was effective."

The Four Noble Truths

1. Life means suffering.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

1. Life means suffering.

To live means to suffer, because the human nature is not perfect and neither is the world we live in. During our lifetime, we inevitably have to endure physical suffering such as pain, sickness, injury, tiredness, old age, and eventually death; and we have to endure psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment, and depression. Although there are different degrees of suffering and there are also positive experiences in life that we perceive as the opposite of suffering, such as ease, comfort and happiness, life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because our world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to keep permanently what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, too.

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things and the ignorance thereof. Transient things do not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and -in a greater sense- all objects of our perception. Ignorance is the lack of understanding of how our mind is attached to impermanent things. The reasons for suffering are desire, passion, ardour, pursuit of wealth and prestige, striving for fame and popularity, or in short: craving and clinging. Because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, thus suffering will necessarily follow. Objects of attachment also include the idea of a "self" which is a delusion, because there is no abiding self. What we call "self" is just an imagined entity, and we are merely a part of the ceaseless becoming of the universe.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

The cessation of suffering can be attained through nirodha. Nirodha means the unmaking of sensual craving and conceptual attachment. The third noble truth expresses the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion. Nirodha extinguishes all forms of clinging and attachment. This means that suffering can be overcome through human activity, simply by removing the cause of suffering. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a process of many levels that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana means freedom from all worries, troubles, complexes, fabrications and ideas. Nirvana is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering.

There is a path to the end of suffering - a gradual path of self-improvement, which is described more detailed in the Eightfold Path. It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because these do not have a final object. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.

The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions; and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be seen in relationship with each other.

1. Right View

Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really are and to realise the Four Noble Truth. As such, right view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of intelligence. Instead, right view is attained, sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with the intuitive insight that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true nature of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right view yields right thoughts and right actions.

2. Right Intention

While right view refers to the cognitive aspect of wisdom, right intention refers to the volitional aspect, i.e. the kind of mental energy that controls our actions. Right intention can be described best as commitment to ethical and mental self-improvement. Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which means resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion, and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop compassion.

3. Right Speech

Right speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. Ethical conduct is viewed as a guideline to moral discipline, which supports the other principles of the path. This aspect is not self-sufficient, however, essential, because mental purification can only be achieved through the cultivation of ethical conduct. The importance of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows: 1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary.

4. Right Action

The second ethical principle, right action, involves the body as natural means of expression, as it refers to deeds that involve bodily actions. Unwholesome actions lead to unsound states of mind, while wholesome actions lead to sound states of mind. Again, the principle is explained in terms of abstinence: right action means 1. to abstain from harming sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently, 2. to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and 3. to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right action means to act kindly and compassionately, to be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual relationships harmless to others. Further details regarding the concrete meaning of right action can be found in the Precepts.

5. Right Livelihood

Right livelihood means that one should earn one's living in a righteous way and that wealth should be gained legally and peacefully. The Buddha mentions four specific activities that harm other beings and that one should avoid for this reason: 1. dealing in weapons, 2. dealing in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as slave trade and prostitution), 3. working in meat production and butchery, and 4. selling intoxicants and poisons, such as alcohol and drugs. Furthermore any other occupation that would violate the principles of right speech and right action should be avoided.

6. Right Effort

Right effort can be seen as a prerequisite for the other principles of the path. Without effort, which is in itself an act of will, nothing can be achieved, whereas misguided effort distracts the mind from its task, and confusion will be the consequence. Mental energy is the force behind right effort; it can occur in either wholesome or unwholesome states. The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness. Right effort is detailed in four types of endeavours that rank in ascending order of perfection: 1. to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states, 2. to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen, 3. to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and 4. to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.

7. Right Mindfulness

Right mindfulness is the controlled and perfected faculty of cognition. It is the mental ability to see things as they are, with clear consciousness. Usually, the cognitive process begins with an impression induced by perception, or by a thought, but then it does not stay with the mere impression. Instead, we almost always conceptualise sense impressions and thoughts immediately. We interpret them and set them in relation to other thoughts and experiences, which naturally go beyond the facticity of the original impression. The mind then posits concepts, joins concepts into constructs, and weaves those constructs into complex interpretative schemes. All this happens only half consciously, and as a result we often see things obscured. Right mindfulness is anchored in clear perception and it penetrates impressions without getting carried away. Right mindfulness enables us to be aware of the process of conceptualisation in a way that we actively observe and control the way our thoughts go. Buddha accounted for this as the four foundations of mindfulness: 1. contemplation of the body, 2. contemplation of feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral), 3. contemplation of the state of mind, and 4. contemplation of the phenomena.

8. Right Concentration

The eighth principle of the path, right concentration, refers to the development of a mental force that occurs in natural consciousness, although at a relatively low level of intensity, namely concentration. Concentration in this context is described as one-pointedness of mind, meaning a state where all mental faculties are unified and directed onto one particular object. Right concentration for the purpose of the eightfold path means wholesome concentration, i.e. concentration on wholesome thoughts and actions. The Buddhist method of choice to develop right concentration is through the practice of meditation. The meditating mind focuses on a selected object. It first directs itself onto it, then sustains concentration, and finally intensifies concentration step by step. Through this practice it becomes natural to apply elevated levels concentration also in everyday situations.

End of nutshell contents…

"If you feel that you are not enlighten-you can always 'try' to be!

Happy Mindfulness!

Metta Jendar :)

Share this post

Link to post

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online   2 Members, 0 Anonymous, 56 Guests (See full list)

    • Katharina
    • Alexxiss
  • Topics With Zero Replies

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
    • Most Online

    Newest Member
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Eden
      (65 years old)
  • Posts

    • Alexxiss
      I am currently having the same issue as Lenneth did. Would you please post that link that worked for them again @princecharmless Thank you in advance!
    • Alexxiss
      I see now you joined up in January. So you’ve been much longer than me. I guess I had failed to notice this was in the biography section. Thanks for sharing your story.
    • Alexxiss
      My father first discovered me dressed at probably 10 years old. I grew up with no sisters so I had put my mother's clothes and heels on. He was confused and forced me out of those clothes and into my closet on my knees staring at a wall. That to him was a light sentence seeing as his father used to punish him far far worse for far far less. I can remember dressing as far back as 1st grade, which is at about 6 years old. It’s natural for us to do it. Outsiders will never really understand what that pull is like. I believe most of us have this experience before puberty. 
    • Susan R
      Welcome @joannewatters69, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I too had a similar beginning story as yours. Of course, the forced feminization by mom was where our life story’s parted. At age 4 after finding me in my sisters clothing, my mother grabbed me by the arm so fast, I’m surprised I still have one. I was scolded and undressed so fast my head was spinning and was told NEVER wear your sister’s clothes again. Quite a different approach than your mom’s. Both styles of discipline failed to stop our crossdressing obviously but they gave it their best shot I guess, didn’t they?   Thanks for sharing a little more of your story. I don’t know if your mom ever accepted this side of you but it seems as though you have and that’s all that really matters.   My Best, Susan R🌷
    • Lexi C
      Susan is so right. I had hair like a Monkeys ass, but HRT did slow it down, then i laser my chest and in process of electrolysis for my face. She  right your light years from i was at your age and it take time
    • Lexi C
      Hey Ladies Like Alexxiss said quite an interesting read. Which brings me to point where i ask, "Did anyone have second thoughts before surgery". Cause if all goes to plan i am under knife next yr around this time, But i keep reading about the heal process, time process and to be honest i don't know if i can make it. Not saying i can't do it. I mean i don't  know if i have the resources to actually make it I don't have any very good  friends that would help during this process like Kylie has. I don't have the best IPO like  a lot of you have. I am on Medical and i have to take what they give me or pay for it myself. I don't have  a war chest of savings . Thus i wouldn't be able to take that much time off   from work which consists of 100% manual labor So as i read these updates and stories I am beginning to get scared that i will not be able  to cross the finish line.  So what the point then... Sorry i don't mean to Hijack this tread . I apologies to  KathyLauren
    • Susan R
      No need to be sorry @TransMex. We all respond when we have time and/or when we feel in the mood. I think you’ll be happy with some of the changes you’ll likely experience on HRT. Just work slowly toward your goal and take small steps at first. No small change in the right direction is too small. Most of the changes are in your mental perspective. Just trying to stay positive about your forward momentum can in itself change you. When you look back in a year or so, I bet you’ll see some positive results in your journey toward womanhood.   My Best, Susan R🌷
    • TransMex
      Thank you for your comment Susan. It's made me feel a bit more hopeful about HRT. I didn't think it would make much of a diference in terms of my hair. I plan to get laser hair removal one day, tho I have so much of it I don't know if it can work for me honestly. I know how to get rid of it for the most part in the meantime. It just feels like yet another way in which I'm lightyears away form my goals.     Thank you again for your comment Lexy. I'm sorry to hear of your experience and I'm glad you were able to find hope and get to where you are. Thank you for trying to give me hope too.            Sorry everyone, for taking such a long time to respond. My mind is a mess. Most of the time I wish to respond only with more negativity. For now I'm only trying to survive until saturday. That's when I'll see the endocrinologist with the results of my tests.
    • Lexi C
      What be up Joanne. Welcome aboard. 
    • Lexi C
      I find tis topic very interesting. While i agree with most of you," Beautiful is in the eye  of the beholder". I also can relate to Teri.   I have being 24/7 now for 2yrs. Today was my 2yr annv on HRT. At the beginning i would be piss if someone misgender me to the point were i would verbal enforce my gender on then. But I did not have the confidence i do now. Like Teri said , I no longer care cause i pass all the time now and when i don't 100% pass fem, cause my voice or I am wearing a tight shirt and my shoulder show, i still have the mojo to let it not matter to me. Wow 67 gender -what the heck-....Alexxiss is right no wonder people are having a hard time with the TG community
    • Susan R
      This is a very nicely written biography, @Kylara Anne Bagwell. I can relate to many of the thoughts and experiences you’ve had over your life’s journey. I enjoyed reading it very much. I think your last statement here sort of sums it up for me and the main reason I decided to transition fully. I had compartmentalized my life to the point I was living a complete lie. Hiding the best and truest part of myself behind society’s expectations of who I should be. I finally stood up for my true self and it looks like you’re on your way to do the same for yourself. Good for you and thanks for sharing a part of yourself here today.   My Best, Susan R🌷  
    • Alexxiss
      Welcome Joanne! You'll find many understanding and wise friends here. Enjoy yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help.
    • Astrid
      Hi JK, Many of our journies -- mine included -- have had us trying on different labels over time, and ultimately learning that the label isn't important. My acceptance of and comfort with myself is what's important.  I've settled on  non-binary which, for (AMAB) me, means I've concluded that I needn't strive to pass as female. I'm on HRT because after careful thought I believed it would help align my physical and mental self with my gender identity.  And it is indeed doing that, I'm happy to report.    There are so many wonderful folks here, each unique in their own way. And I celebrate that!   With best wishes on your journey,   Astrid 
    • Alexxiss
      Quite an interesting read, ladies. Thank you for sharing your experiences for those of us approaching the surgery. I'm glad you are feeling better about it @KathyLauren  
    • Lexi C
      wow that's great to Kylie. Every penny counts esp now. Hope all is well
  • Upcoming Events

  • Create New...