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Social Studies
Religious Studies

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Zack ZawisnyBibliography-World Religions bookMrs. Meyer's slideshow

Buddhism was developed in India about 2,500 years ago by a man named Siddhattha Gotama. He became known as Buddha, which means the enlightened one. One day Siddharta traveled away from is home and saw a sick man, an old man, a dead man, and a holy man. He realized that he must escape sufering. Siddharta sat down under a tree near a temple, in India. He stayed there in meditation.Then at dawn he was enlightened. At that moment he acheived Nirvana.Buddhas main teachings were the Three Universal Truths. 1.Everything in life is permanent and is constantly changing.2. Impearance leads to suffering3. There is no unchanging personal selfThe Noble Truths1. All life has suffering2. Suffering causes desire3. Desire can be overcome4. The way to overcome it is the Eightfold Path-1. Right Viewpoint2. Right Intention3. Right Speech4. Right Action5. Right Work6. Right Effort7. Right Mindfulness8. Right MeditationAt first Buddhas teachings were passed on by mouth. It wasn't until centuries after Buddhas death that they were written down.Buddhists are united in their belief for the three jewels:1.Buddha2. Dharma3. Monastic order of the sanghaBuddha laid down five rules, the five precepts-1. avoid harming living things2. avoid stealing3. live a decent life style4. avoid speaking unkindly or lying5. avoid alcohol and drugsBuddhists think that meditation is essential in achieving nirvana. The basis of meditation is samatha. This is peacefulness in which the mind is empty of all thoughts. A person can be helped to this calm state by concentrating on breathing or by focusing on an object. The picture below show some things that can help people to meditate. -People sit with crossed legs-They offer flowers or incense to a statue of Buddha-The statue or maybe a candle is used to focus on- Closing eyes and counting breaths helps calmnessBuddhism considers rites of passage less important than many other religions do. Some rites such as birth or marriage ceremonies are left to local custom.Sangha is the name given to any community of Buddhist monks. The monks at Buddha's first sermon were converted and became the first sangha. Buddhist monks and nuns live in monastaries or nunneries. They live simply and only own eight items.The pravrajya ceremony commences when a boy becomes a novice monk. he dresses in fine clothes and rides a horse to the monestary.The first sangha spread the Buddha's teachings throughout northern India. Emperor Asoka ruled northern and central India helped spread the religion. He set up stone pillars with Buddha's teachings carved into them. His son also helped by bringing the religion to southern IndiaTheravada means way or teachings of the elders. Thervada Buddhists believe they follow the original teachings best. Mahayana Buddhists do not concentrate just on the Buddha. They see him as one of many Buddhas. Vairayana Buddhism is also known as Tibetan Buddhism because it flourished in Tibet. Its leaders also had political power. Pure Land Buddhism began in China and spread to Japan in about the thirteenth century. Zen Buddhism began in China and spread to Japan in about the thirteenth century Zen means meditatioon. They spent most of their time doing this.Some of the main Buddhist pilgrimage sites are associated with important events in the Buddha's life, such as his place of birth. Many Buddhists visit templea or shrines to pay their respects to the Buddha and to meet and meditate with other Buddhists. Rituals are performed at a shrine in the home, as well as at a temple. The rituals may vary from one branch of Buddhism to another.Buddhist art uses a wide variety of symbols to remind people of their beliefs. Every Buddhist temple has an image of Buddha. Another common symbok of Buddhism is the Lotus flower.The Buddhist religious calendar follows a lunar basis, following the phases of the moon. There are many festivals during the year. Wesak is the celebration of Buddhas birth. In Theravada countries his enlightenment and death too. The celebration is held differently in different places. Asala Day commemorates Buddha's first teachings. In Sri Lanka it is celebrated at the fetival of the Sacred Tooth. A tooth, believed to be Buddhas, is paraded. Losor is a mojor Tibetan festival. It takes place in a full moon, it celebrates Buddha's early life and teachings, and also marks a new year. Obob is a Japanese festival held in July. It is a three-day celebration during which people pay their respects to ancestors. Vassa is a meditation retreat that takes place in the rainy season. Uposatha Days are when Buddhists perform their religious duties. Some fast and others visit local temples.

Hand-Held Prayer Wheel


Lotus Flower- a symbol of Buddhism

Novice Monks

Zen Gardens provide a tranquil setting for meditation

Zack Zawisny


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