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Aspects Of Buddhism

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Rather than discuss the what, I offer this forum where one can post the practical uses and experiences.

On that note, a little unmitigated gibberish from my own delusionary world.

(For the various schools, students, please refer to my footnote)

The motivating force, drive, desire behind Siddartha Gautama, Sakyamuni to seek enlightenment was his compassion for his fellow man. In the story of when he was still a Prince he had three encounters, events in his life that brought forth his compassion.

His compassion was selfless, as was his desire to seek enlightment. It was the pain and suffering of his fellow man that drove him, through the ascetic, through the suppression of his desires and cravings, through his self seeking, and ultimately his confrontation with Mara (Maya) itself.

When studying the Dharma (Dhamma) it is sometimes easier to simplify your thinking and examine what Buddha confronted, went through, in his final incarnation.

Upon leaving his fathers city he became an ascetic. One may find various definitions of an ascetic but in essence it is commonly referred to as the cleansing fire. As an ascetic all sensations, illusions/delusions of the senses are reviled. One seeks pain and suffering to replace the desires and seductions the senses give us.

After being an ascetic, feeling he had learned what he could, that even the life of an ascetic was an indulgence of the senses, Gautama sought solitude, meditating upon his being in an effort to find his true inner nature. He forwent ALL contact with the rest of the world in all possible aspects. One day he looked down at his own body and realized that he was about to die of starvation. From this aspect, the second ultimate trial, came the teachings where he advocates 'all things in moderation'. It is when we go beyond need to want that we feed the desires and cravings.

In the third aspect, path of his finding enlightment he 'lightened up' if you will please excuse the modern vernacular. He had overcome his cravings and desires, yet he realized his self, incarnated within a body, must have sustenance. He wandered, some say aimlessly, a soul adrift, untethered. He eventually came to sit under a tree in a garden. What he was, what his state of mind was, many others have written about. Suffice to say, his mind opened as he meditated. As it opened, his super consciousness awakening, all the seductions of the world came, embodied as Mara/Maya, sometimes called the enchantress or seductress, fought to get his attention, turn his mind from the path.

This third aspect, his absolute denial of Mara is the most beloved and venerated aspect of Gautama, or, as he became known after the night of the final trial, The Boddhisatva*. Most of the images of the Buddha, especially those found in Thailand, depict Buddha in the posture/position of 'renouncing' Mara.

And so, a simple ladder anyone can relate to: deny, reflect, and better understand/awaken. Taken one step at a time, one has a craving or desire. One focuses ones entire being on the denial, indeed, the pain of a withdrawal caused by past satiating the craving. Then comes a time of introspection where one attempts to understand what brought him/her to acquire that craving in the first place. Lastly, reflection where one lets ones wisdom expand. You have recognized a weakness within yourself, understood it and now you let it go. It no longer has power over you. Now you may know your unborn Buddha within just a little bit better.

* I use the word Boddhisatva in the extreme archaic form: Knowing the first cause. In the case of the Buddha, one who knows himself, utterly and completely, inclusive of each karmic cycle and event, back to the first incarnation.

Footnote.

I realize this is somewhat inaccurate and oversimplified. It was in fact, the jist, a teaching as it was given to me many years ago by a monk who told me.

"You won't learn much about electricity by sticking your finger in a light socket. You will not actually see electricity in action by reading volumes on it. The same applies to Buddhism and the Dharma. Start with the most rudimentary basic practices and expand them as your mind better understands."

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