I grew up Hindu, Jain and Buddhist went to a Christian school. Aspects of each religion have shaped me into the person I am today. In my recent years, I have been more drawn to Buddhism, and all it has to offer. I feel Buddhism is more of a "way of life" or philosophy.
What is the Buddhist philosophy?
- To lead a moral life
- To be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions
- To develop wisdom and understanding
The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path make up the basic concepts of Buddhism.
The Four Noble Truths
- In life there is suffering & sorrow
- Suffering & sorrow are caused by people's greedy desire for power, pleasure and possessions
- Suffering & sorrow will end when people overcome their greed = Nirvana = enlightenment
- People can overcome their greed and uncontrolled desires by following the Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path is grouped into three essential elements of Buddhism
- Wisdom through:
- Right understanding - understand and live the Four Noble Truths. Remove ignorance and and entanglement from life
- Right thought - avoid desire/greed, hatred/anger and illusion/ignorance in your life
- Practice moral conduct through:
- Right speech - avoid all forms of abusive speech like gossip, lying, slander
- Right action - live a life of non-violence (ahimsa), do not steal, do not harm others
- Right livelihood - work in a job and live a life where you are not hurting others
- Mental Discipline through:
- Right effort - purify yourself from negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger and jealousy
- Right mindfulness - have a body and mind awareness of the present moment. Be present. Don't be lost in daydreams, anticipation, indulgences, or worry.
- Right concentration - meditate to reach enlightenment.
In summary, Buddhism is a philosophy rather than a religion where one is not worshiping a God but is focusing on the road to enlightenment, a state of being.