The Triple Gem
Buddhists seek refuge in what are often referred to as the Triple Gem, Three Jewels or Triple Jewel.
- The Buddha: Awakened one, enlightened one. The original nature of the heart; the attainment of Nirvana.
- The Dharma (Dhamma): The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha. The nature of reality.
- The Sangha: Community of monks and nuns who have become enlightened. Also could be translated as awakened community.
It is impossible to escape one’s karma (The universal principle of cause and effect, action and reaction which governs all life).
The one, who is seeking to become enlightened, commits by pursuing enlightenment and following in the footsteps of the people who have followed the path to enlightenment before.
The Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths with the Eightfold Path is the way to obtain Salvation for Gautama Buddha which comes with Nirvana after enlightenment. It brings Salvation from the sufferings on earth, and, most important, salvation from the curse of reincarnation.
- Dukkha: The condition of all existence is suffering.
- Samudaya: The cause of suffering is attachment or desire (tanha) rooted in ignorance.
- Nirodha: The end of suffering is Nirvana.
- Marga: The path to end suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Noble Eightfold Path
Enlightenment and Nirvana is attained by meditation and by following the path of righteousness in action, thought, and attitude.
- Right Understanding (Samma ditthi)
- Right Thought (Samma sankappa)
- Right Speech (Samma vaca)
- Right Action (Samma kammanta)
- Right Livelihood (Samma ajiva)
- Right Effort (Samma vayama)
- Right Mindfulness (Samma sati)
- Right Concentration (Samma samadhi)
The Five Precepts
The Five Precepts are not given in the form of commands but rather as a person moral behavior.
- Abstain from killing living beings;
- Abstain from taking that which not given (stealing);
- Abstain from sexual misconduct;
- Abstain from incorrect speech (lying, harsh language, slander, idle chit-chat) ;
- Abstain from distilled substances that confuse the mind. (Alcohol and drugs).
The Three Characteristics of Existence (Dharma seals)
- Anicca: Impermanent;
- Dukkha: Unsatisfactory, sorrow;
- Anatta: Selflessness.
The Six Realms of existence (The six worlds):
- The world of heaven: The world of enjoyment, pleasure or pleasant things. The condition of heaven is impermanent.
- The world of humans: In the world of humans, sometimes we are happy, sometimes we are sad.
- The world of asuras: This is the world of fighting, or strife.
- The world of hungry spirits: This is the realm of dissatisfaction, not being content. The state of having endless unsatisfied desires, or greed. Figuratively speaking, always being hungry.
- The world of animals: It is the realm lacking reason, causing hardships or suffering to self, and to others. Being without reason dominated by one’s desires.
- The world of hell: Hell refers to the realm of suffering. The state of suffering and pain.
The Five Hindrances (Obstructions):
- Sensuous lust
- Aversion and ill will
- Sloth and torpor
- Restlessness and worry
- Skeptical doubt
The Four Sublime States
- Metta: Delight in Kindness
- Karuna: Compassion
- Mudita: Joy. Appreciation of good qualities in people
- Upekkha: A peaceful mind.
The Ten Factors of Perfection (Nirvana):
The Five Aggregates (Skandhas):
1. Rupa (Form):
2. Vedana (Feeling):
Feelings arise when there is contact between the six internal organs (Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) and the six external objects (Sight, sound, odor, taste, touch and mental presentation).
3. Samjna (Perception): related to the six external objects.
4. Samskara (Volition): is the response of the will to the six external objects.
5. Vijnana (Consciousness): the six senses.
Other Principles and Practices:
They are Meditation, Karma and Samsara (cycle of rebirth)