Buddhism in the Exeter Diamond Way Centre
What is Buddhism? The word "Buddha" is a Sanskrit word and simply means one that is awake; this awakened state is known in Buddhism as "enlightenment". As Buddhism has no dogmas or gods it isn't seen as a religion. Instead Buddhism could be described as a set of logical clear methods that work with the mind in a way that leads to one seeing the nature of reality or, put another way, seeing "the way things are". The short video below is a clip taken from a teaching that H.H. the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Trinley Thaye Dorje gave in Hong Kong where he suggests to look at Buddhism more as a science than a religion.
Buddhist Terminology - The Four Thoughts
The four thoughts which turn mind toward liberation and enlightenment are fundamental to the Buddhist practice. Within all of our meditations we remind ourselves of the reasons and motivations for us to practise.
The Precious Human Body There are many favourable conditions that have to come together at the same time, for one to be born with a human life. This in itself makes it a precious human life because it is so difficult to attain. We also refer to this life as precious because as a human, we have a choice to follow a way of life that can bring lasting happiness to ourselves and countless other beings. All sentient beings, from the smallest creatures strive for happiness and want to avoid suffering. Buddhist teachings provide methods for working with mind that can bring about this permanent happiness.
Impermanence The human life is precious not just because of these positive opportunities but also because we don't know how long our life will last. Therefore we recognise this impermanence as the reason to take the opportunity here and now, to practice for the benefit of ourselves and others.
Cause and Effect (Karma) The positive impressions in mind are created by positive actions, and negative actions create negative impressions. Thus whatever we do, think or say now is subject to the law of cause and effect and will decide our future . When the seeds planted from negative actions ripen, there will be suffering and when positive seeds ripen there will be a positive result.
Seeking the path to Enlightenment The cyclic existence of life and death is known as samsara, and is dependant on our Karma. Even when we have accumulated so many positive impressions in mind that we have a rich and joyful life, we still need to keep accumulating a constant flow of positive impressions for maintaining favourable conditions. It is said that even the most wonderful samsaric conditions can't be compared to the absolute bliss and highest joy that comes with enlightenment. We also recognise that if we are confused or disturbed ourselves, it becomes very difficult to develop the capacity to help other sentient beings.
For more information about Buddhism, please visit the section links below: