BUDDHISM – The Middle Way
The Buddhist tradition is centered in the Enlightenment experience of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, who was born in Nepal and taught his doctrine in India during the sixth century BC. His teachings are at once revolutionary and self-evident, and extraordinarily relevant to the modern world. He maintained that the nature of reality and the meaning of our existence cannot be captured in theories, concepts and beliefs, but are realised experientially – in compassionate, mindful living.
A central teaching in Buddhism is that we forgo great beauty and meaning in our lives by allowing ourselves to be driven by a compulsive self-centredness, obsessive, mindless attachments and all manner of habitual delusions and wishful thinking. Buddhism, however, also teaches that we can radically reshape the way we perceive and experience things. This can be done through transformative mental practices [meditation] and behavioral disciplines. These are outlined in the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and a number of other philosophical and psychological teachings and methods.
Buddhism, therefore, is an attitude more than a belief; a way of experiencing the world rather than an attempt to explain it. Known as the Middle Way, Buddhism has no need for extreme opinions and exclusive dogmas. This self-reliant outlook imbues it with a rare sense of dignity, joy, gentleness and freedom – qualities that appeal to increasing numbers of people who have grown tired of the pronouncements of priests and scientists, millennial prophets and self-improvement gurus.
Buddhism is non-theistic; it is neither theistic nor atheistic. It therefore does not challenge or compete with other religions. Hence, followers of all religious denominations and philosophical persuasions are welcome to attend any retreat program. No membership, allegiance or conversion is expected or required.
This description of Buddhism comes from the website of the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Kwazulu Natal South Africa (With Permission)
In time I intend doing reviews of Buddhist Books and write ups on Buddhist Teachers, including those who have made enormous contributions to the move of Buddhism to the West. This includes the late Ayya Khema, a German Theravadin nun. As a gift to you, Dear Reader, please find my free e-book Summary of part 1 of her 1995 Retreat. Ayya Khema 1995 Retreat Summaries Pt1 EBook
Note: If the Link does not work, then… RIGHT click on it, choose ‘Save Link As,’ and save the .pdf file to your PC. (1.3mb)