In the 5th century BC a prince named Siddhartha in India left the riches and comforts of his palace in search of the Truth. He was not happy with what he had around him and sought answers that would help find an end to pain and sorrow. Siddhartha’s search led him to Nirvana and he became Gautama Buddha whose teaching on the ways of attaining enlightenment and following nonviolence found hundreds and thousands of followers all over the world. The principles of Buddhism weren’t starts off as a religion but rather a way of life that was more of a guidebook for people on the effects of Karma and the need for Moksha.
Principles Of Buddhism
There are four principles of Buddhism that is also known as the 4 Noble Truths as propounded by the Buddha himself.
- The path of life is full of pain and suffering. Everyday people have to endure a great deal of losses that brings nothing but an unending chain of misery.
- The only reason behind all the suffering in this world is never ending desire and attachment of the people to things around them.
- The only way Man can free itself from the cycle of pain and suffering is to end the constant attachment and desire inside them which will enable them to achieve Nirvana
- The final Truth is an eightfold path that will enable people to attain Nirvana is it is followed strictly. It serves as a guidance on a step by step process of eight ways that need to be incorporated in daily life.
The Eight-Fold Path
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Thought
- Right Understanding
- Right Effort
- Right Livelihood
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
Benefits Of Buddhism In Modern Life
Among the different principle teachings of Buddhism there are a few which are directly significant and relevant in modern life.
- Development of mindfulness and controlling the mind to be in the present is an important aspect of Buddhist teaching that is relevant in the fast-paced life of today. According to Jonah Engler modern life is full of distractions which does not allowpeople to take control of their thoughts and present actions. He also emphasizes on the need to bring focus into life with the effective use of mindfulness.
- The second most relevant and important teaching of Buddhism is the importance of meditation it propagates. There are several ways of attaining Dhyana or meditation state of mind according to the Buddhist principles. These were already in existence at the time but were popularized by Buddhism as a means of attaining calmness of the conscious mind with enhanced attention and ways to fight distractions.
How To Follow The Teachings Of Buddhism
There are several ways that the teachings of Lord Buddha and principles of Buddhism can be incorporated within the folds of modern life. Buddhism is not a particularly orthodox religion so you can follow it without any compulsions of being a Buddhist. The principles and methodologies can be followed by any person from any other faith or religion.
- Meditations is one of the most important aspects of Buddhism. Find one particular time slot within the day and reserve it for your mental focus exercise. It takes very little preparation; find a quiet place and be comfortable in your own way and focus on the inner self with complete tranquility of the mind.
- Reading a few books on Buddhism will always help; find a book that speaks of the basic and first words of the Buddha. This will help you understand the basic features of Buddhism and what it asks of a person to find inner calmness and peace. It is important to differentiate the teaching of Buddha with the changes of thought brought about after his death when his followers formed different sects.
Buddhism For Beginners
As a beginner who is new to the followings and teachings of Buddha it is important to understand the basics.
- There is a great deal of emphasis and importance on meditations laid down in Buddhism. It places a great deal of importance to bring calmness to the conscious mind and focus on its present which is also denoted as Dhyana.
- There are plenty of books that are available on the teachings of Buddha that will help you understand the basic principles clearly.
- If you can find a Buddhist group, a teacher or even a temple near you, make sure to be associated with one or all. It always to understand the basic when there is discussion around you and the principles are described in different ways that helps to develop a perspective.
- The second most important teaching of Buddhism after meditation is practicing mindfulness. This is an important state of mind where you control it to the present and clear your thoughts from all distractions. It helps you to stay in the present and focus on your work and personal relationships without any disturbances. Buddhist teachings and meditation both helps in the attainment of mindfulness.
Buddhism For Parents
According to Jonah Engler, Buddhism and its teachings are very helpful for parenting. This is especially true for single parents who manage their children on their own.
- It teaches the importance of love and compassion. This helps parents to be a parent with patience and love. It is also vital when they teach the same compassion and love to their children.
- Children being taught the importance of love at home become better individuals when they are in the outer world.
- The practice of mindfulness is very helpful for single and working parents. Being in the present state of consciousness parents will be more attentive and responsible in their duties towards their children.
- Buddhism emphasizes on the importance of non-violence or ahimsa. Parents can incorporate the teachings of non-violence in their children’s life to become more compassionate, kind and understanding human beings.
Buddhism As A Way Of Life
A beginning is like a rebirth and does not matter when or at what age it is done. There is always a ray of hope for a better future when it is done. Following Buddhism can be started any day and it helps to bring greater harmony within one’s life for a more balanced and peaceful state of the mind. There is a dual role played by meditation and the books which one has to follow to find the peace they may be looking for. It helps to rejuvenate the soul and the mind.