Friday, February 22, 2008

How to practise Buddhism

Buddhism is considered a way of life. As such, practising Buddhism is just leading our lives according to the teachings of the Buddha.
Basically, we are to get rid of the three evils, namely avarice or greed, hatred and delusion.

We can stay away from greed by being generous, giving things and rendering services to others more than receiving them. In this way we will be less egoistic and think more of others' needs than our own.

Avoiding hatred towards others is a bit more difficult to practise but if we think in terms of reincarnation and treat others as our mothers, fathers, siblings and relatives in our past lives, then we have every reason to endear them to us and not otherwise.

Getting rid of delusion is to practise detachment. We should not attach too much of our feeling towards our dear ones as according to Buddhism, all things are not constant. Withering of flowers is a very good example of this. If we attach too much feeling towards our dear ones we may feel very sad should they get hurt, fall sick or pass away.

Our aim of getting rid of the above three evils is to attain nothingness, leading to nirvana - the ultimate aim of all Buddhists.


Awake In Rochester said...

That sound interesting. I am a Christian, and recently realized that Buddhist do not have a God. Therefore, could a Christian become a Buddhist too? I don't know much about Buddhism at this point, and just found your blog.

TH Yeoh said...

As Buddhism is a way of life, there is no contradiction of religion if Christians walk the Buddha's path such as practising meditation, doing dana and practising detachment all of which do not go against Christianity in any way. You don't have to brand yourself a Buddhist to do all these. I may be wrong but this is my personal view.

Kwei On said...

Hi, i presume that you are very much awake in rochester! You have finally awakened and think out of the box about buddhism. In a nutshell, buddhism, as preached by the Buddha who did not claim to be a reincarnation or manifestation of any 'god' or even an unseen 'powerful-being-up-there' who used him as a messenger.

The Buddha saw that suffering as a whole persist in every aspect of our lives and actions. The first simple aspect of suffering a human comes or born to this world [as a baby] is the urge of hunger -- crying for the first round of food, be it milk or water. That very action of crying for food is suffering -- the body is hungry and is longing for food. Without food, the fear of dying comes to the mind -- the forerunner of all universal actions. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the very thought of not having food gives rise to fear, fearing of death. As the Buddha mentioned in one of his sermons, more than 2500 years ago, that life is uncertain but death is certain. No human being can escape death -- it is a matter of time. And as such, time controls the uncertainty of life. Everywhere we want to go, what we want to do is, relatively, measured by time.

Can you imagine what is this thing call 'time' -- it is just a thought that moves from here into the future and we use time to measure that 'movement'.

Time is mind made. The fact that the mind is the forerunner of all things, be it creation of good deeds or bad deeds, be it the conceptualisation of a 'god' or a 'supernatural being' --- all is the product of this abstract phenomenal call 'mind'.

Because of this mind, one can become a god, or perhaps, wish to become a demon or satan. The mind controls this physical body that comprises the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting. All these five physical senses will not work without a mind. Take an example of a person whose mind [or brain] is in a coma -- can you instruct the five senses of the person in coma via the physical body to feel, see, hear, taste or speak, etc. It just don't budge an inch.

See, what is this mind that is so powerful and yet so uncertain when death sets in. Give it some thought around your surrounding -- take one sense organ at a time and explore it together with the mind or the physical part of it called the 'brain'.

Another example of the power of the mind --- centuries ago, no one ever thought that one day a human can communicate with another human in another part of the world via the wireless telecommunication power we have nowadays! Are these 'god-sent'? They are simply the power of the mind that is able to grasp this universal law of cause and effect, birth and death, arising and cessation, ups and downs, upturn and downturn, --- how to face all these worldly conditions -- simply by presenting oneself in the best conduct -- good conduct of course. What are these conduct -- it is simply the five precepts, not commandments [rules are made to be broken?]

The 5 precepts are the basic standard conduct a fellow human should conduct himself in every action. The 5 precepts are: 1. abstain from the act of killing; 2. abstain from the act of stealing; 3. abstain from the act of sexual misconduct; 4. abstain from the act of false speech and 5. abstain from the act of intoxicating oneself.

These are the yardstick where one should adhere to and use it as a standard conduct or benchmark to measure our actions. It is just so simple. If everybody in the world can adhere to this simple 5 precepts, the world would definitely be a happier place to live, work and play -- for you and for me!

Would you agree to that? We don't need to be 'god-fearing' or need to subscribe to some teachings of an unseen being up there which dictates how you should spend or live your life.