If you’re new comer, or just looking to take your first step towards getting connected with Buddhism, here’s some basic guidance:
What is Buddhism?
Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of the historical Shakyamuni Buddha, who lived about 2550 ago in northeastern India. The noble Prince chose to renounced at the age of 29 in search for the Truth. He came to be called “the Buddha”, meaning ” the awakened one”, after he experienced a profound realization of the nature of all life, death and existence.
With great wisdom and compassion, he shared the inspiring truth tirelessly for 45 years to all on how to realize enlightenment for themselves through one’s own effort, direct experience, not through beliefs and dogmas.
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According to Venerable Dr. K. Sri Dhammananda “Buddhism is a religion which teaches people to ‘live and let live’. In the history of the world, there is no evidence to show that Buddhists have interfered or done any damage to any other religion in any part of the world for the purpose of propagating their religion. Buddhists do not regard the existence of other religions as a hindrance to worldly progress and peace… The Buddha did not criticise or condemn any religion other than to enlighten the people by showing them the futility of going into the extremes of self-mortification and self-indulgence and to avoid superstitious and meaningless practices in the name of religion.”
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The Teachings realised by the Buddha are called the Dharma, literally meaning “the truth nature of all things”. The basic teachings are the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, Dependent Origination and the Three Characteristics of Existence. Cultivating qualities of the mind, which is essential for our happiness, is formally developed in Buddhist meditation and then diligently put into practice in everyday life. Learn about Dharma Courses here
Schools of Buddhism
Like most of the great religions of the world, Buddhism has a number of different traditions. However, most traditions share a common set of fundamental beliefs. The two major schools are Theravada and Mahayana. Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (KMSPKS) belongs to the latter.
Clearing up misconception
There are few things most people think about Buddhists — that Buddhists believe in reincarnation and are vegetarian. These views are not true, however. Reincarnation refers to the idea of an unchanging soul taking upon a new form from one life to the next, while rebirth refers to an ever-changing consciousness that goes from one life to the next. It is due to this constant change that spiritual betterment and perfection is possible. And although vegetarianism is encouraged, in many sects, it is considered a personal choice, not a requirement.
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