Buddha

The teachings of Lord Buddha and Buddhism came directly into my life in Halifax, Nova Scotia through Vajradhatu and the teachings of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche a leading teacher of Tibetan Buddhism.

Since my introduction to Tibetan Buddhism I have continued to explore Buddhism and now Pure Land Buddhism, Taoism and Shamanism are woven into the fabric of my life.

Sculpture of Shakyamuni Buddha touching the earth at the moment he reached enlightenment. 11th-12th century, Central Tibet. Brass with colored pigments. Photo courtesy of The Met.

Most of the time, when someone says the Buddha, it’s in reference to the historical person who founded Buddhism. This was a man originally named Siddhartha Gautama who lived in what is now northern India and Nepal about twenty-five centuries ago.

Buddha Is Not a Name

Buddha is not a name, but a title. It is a Sanskrit word that means “a person who is awake.” What a buddha is awake to is the true nature of reality.

Who Is the Buddha? by Barbara O’Brien

I think that the article Who Was the Buddha? written by Barbara O’Brien and published on the website The Lions Roar provides one the easiest to understand explanations of who was the Buddha and what is Buddhism.

Simply put, Buddhism teaches that we all live in a fog of illusions created by mistaken perceptions and “impurities” — hate, greed, ignorance. A buddha is one who is freed from the fog. It is said that when a buddha dies he or she is not reborn but passes into the peace of Nirvana, which is not a “heaven” but a transformed state of existence.

Teacher, Guides & Mentors

Buddhism

The teachings in Buddhism of Lord Buddha have been a part of my life for many years going back to when I studied for a Bachelor of Theology at McGill University in the Faculty of Religious Studies in the 70’s.

Tibetan Buddhism – Trungpa Rinpoche

Buddhist practice influences my daily life. I was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism through the teachings of Trungpa Rinpoche in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Pure Land Buddhism

I was introduced to the Pure Land Buddhist Mahayana traditions of China. Pure Land Buddhism is a branch of Buddhism focused on Amitābha “The Buddha of Infinite Light.” Kuan Shih Yin / Guanyin is part of my daily practice.

Buddhist Teachings

The basic concepts in Buddhism can be summed up by the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Buddhism is a religion, or philosophy, that originated in India based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama an Indian prince who became who the Buddha. The word Buddha is derived from ‘budhi’ or to ‘awaken’. Siddhartha awakened when he 35 years old.

To many people, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or ‘way of life’. It is a philosophy because philosophy ‘means love of wisdom’ and the Buddhist path can be summed up as:

  1. to lead a moral life,
  2. to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and
  3. to develop wisdom and understanding.

Schools of Buddhism

Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs, and practices. Generally speaking Buddhists usually classify themselves as belonging to one of two schools of Buddhism namely Theravada or Mahayana. Although some say that there are three schools Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Buddhist Resources

You can find a growing list of Buddhist resources to help you explore Buddhism.

Points of Reference