Essay about Buddhism: Buddhism and Dalai Lama

Submitted By dontewallace
Words: 6051
Pages: 25

Donté Wallace
Period 4

Donte Wallace
4th hr
Buddhism originated in northern India in the 5th century B.C.E. The tradition traces its origin to Siddhartha Gautama or more commonly known as Buddha or the Enlightened One. The Buddha's teachings are often summarized in the Four Noble Truths, which form the basis of the first sermon he delivered after attaining enlightenment, and the Eightfold Path, which provides a basic way to live in the world. Over the course of its 2500-year history, Buddhism has experienced many schisms and modifications. There are currently three major branches of the tradition — the Theravada, the Mahayana (Great Vehicle), and Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism has spread from its roots in India to virtually every corner of the world, and in each place it has spread it has adopted local practices and beliefs of their own. Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the United States behind Christianity, Judaism. Buddhism has experienced large growth in the United States over recent decades, due to diversity, migration, religious freedom, international travel, and the internet. The majority of Buddhists in America are of Asian descent, but the number of non-Asian American Buddhists continues increase. There are also many Americans who identify themselves as Christian or Jewish who incorporate Buddhist practices and concepts into their religious lives. Many new departments of Buddhist studies were established in the American universities. The first of the Four Noble Truths is life means suffering. The basis of this is that to live is to suffer, because the human race is not perfect and neither is the world. On this earth, everyone inevitably suffers pain, sickness, injury, old age, and eventually death as well as psychological suffering like sadness, fear, frustration, disappointment and depression. Life in its totality is imperfect and incomplete, because the world is subject to impermanence. This means we are never able to permanently keep what we strive for, and just as happy moments pass by, we ourselves and our loved ones will pass away one day, all things are suffering and as all things are life, life is suffering. The second Noble Truth is that the origin of suffering is attachment. The origin of suffering is attachment to transient things. Transient things not only include the physical objects that surround us, but also ideas, and all objects of our perception. The reasons for our suffering are desire, passion, pursuit of wealth and prestige and striving for fame and popularity, so basically attachment to transient things and because the objects of our attachment are transient, their loss is inevitable, therefore is followed by suffering. The third Noble Truth is the cessation of suffering is attainable. The cessation of suffering can be attained through the unmaking of craving and attachment. The third noble truth presents the idea that suffering can be ended by attaining dispassion and extinguishing all forms of clinging and attachment. Attaining and perfecting dispassion is a many leveled process that ultimately results in the state of Nirvana. Nirvana being freedom from all worries and troubles and it is not comprehensible for those who have not attained it. The final Noble Truth is the path to the cessation of suffering. The path to the end of suffering is a gradual path of self-improvement. The path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to the conditions of Karma. The objects of suffering such as craving, ignorance and delusions will eventually disappear 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 the Buddha. It is a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the aim of freedom from attachments and delusions. Together with the Four Noble Truths it constitutes the main point of…