Spiritual Autobiography From Buddhism to Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Like Jesus, the Buddha was a teacher who cared about the poor and desired to liberate others from all of the suffering in the world. I learned that Buddha was born a wealthy man, but one day, when he had left his fine home, he saw men who were sick, old, and dying, and was instantly struck by the injustice of the world. He resolved to leave his comfortable life and to find Enlightenment as a result. For many years, he embarked upon a spiritual journey of extreme asceticism. Then, one day, while on a long and terrible fast, a young girl offered him a bowl of milk and rice. The Buddha was so moved by her gestures and the simplicity of her kindness he was able to achieve Enlightenment, or an understanding and acceptance of the impermanence of all things.

Although some people find Buddhism depressing, Buddhism's teaching about life's impermanence and the endless suffering of desire and disappointment that characterizes life is not supposed to be 'dark' or miserable. Rather, it merely encourages the practitioner to accept this fact, in a complete and radical fashion, and not to be sad about it. All things are supposed to be endured with equal grace. That is the purpose of meditation: to counsel a 'right mind.' I always think -- if Buddhism was so depressing, then why is Buddha always smiling? Buddhism also teaches that there is no essential difference between all living beings, regardless of who they are. That is why it is essential to bestow equal compassion to others as to one's self, and not to cling to an egocentric view of the world.

I have come to understand that Buddhism is more than incense and chanting, the aspects of the religion that had the greatest impact upon me as a child. Buddhism is a philosophy and a mindset, and its practices of non-attachment to the world can be observed even within the context of Christianity. As a small child, the image of the Buddha in a temple was terrifying to me in its strangeness, but now I find the image of the Buddha comforting and serene. I have come to judge the religion on its own terms, and its ethical values resonate with me.

The religion of Christianity similarly centers on a central figure, that of Jesus. Jesus, like the Buddha, was a compassionate teacher who wished to elevate the lives of all human beings. Jesus was born a poor man, unlike the Buddha, but taught that God would accept all human beings into his kingdom who loved and believed in him. Christianity acknowledges the injustices and sufferings inherent in the material world. Believing in Christ and being saved in Christ is the way to escape these unpleasant aspects of existence. Christianity does not teach that the world is suffering and we must escape this suffering like Buddhism; it teachers that Christ suffered for us, and that through suffering we can also find a sense of higher truth and purpose.

Thus although Buddhism and Christianity have very different worldviews (focusing on meditation and detachment vs. being saved through Christ) and observe different rituals (devotions in a temple and meditating vs. Mass and confession), I think there are many very similar concerns between the two of them. I feel very at home in both, and am willing to learn from the teachings of both religions.

I do not believe that religion is an either/or choice. A person can be a Christian and yet still be inspired by the teachings and words of the Buddha. Likewise, a Buddhist can be inspired by Jesus' compassion and ministry. I feel very privileged that in my life have been exposed to both religions, and am a part of both traditions. All religions ultimately have the same aim: to make us lead better lives, and to live better with others. Christianity and Buddhism accomplish this, and my life is richer for having been exposed to both of them. In fact, the only thing that is difficult for me to understand is people who have been raised in non-diverse environments and believe that their way is the only right way to live. Because I have had to negotiate an existence between so many worlds for so long, I cannot imagine myself seeing the world through such black-and-white lenses.[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Spiritual Autobiography From Buddhism To" (2013, March 27) Retrieved October 24, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/spiritual-autobiography-from-buddhism-to-102252

"Spiritual Autobiography From Buddhism To" 27 March 2013. Web.24 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/spiritual-autobiography-from-buddhism-to-102252>

"Spiritual Autobiography From Buddhism To", 27 March 2013, Accessed.24 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/spiritual-autobiography-from-buddhism-to-102252

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche I Experienced

    Both Taoism and Buddhism encourage meditation as a means by which to liberate the mind and achieve emptiness. One of the Buddhist practices that encourages emptiness is mindfulness meditation, or vipassana. However, there are numerous specific methods that be used during the meditation practice. Some are more Tibetan in origin as those espoused by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and the Vajrayana tradition. Other meditation practices are like those I learned at

  • Asian Thought Psychologically Minded Responses to Asian Thought Readings...

    Western civilization has been developing according to a set of coordinates that are entirely separated from the ones of its Eastern counterpart. The focus of this paper is to propose subjective psychologically-minded interpretations to a series of Asian stories and poems extracted from the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. The storyline of Searching for Buddha begins with the account of a monk's lengthy and arduous journey towards finding Buddha. When

  • Schools of Hinduism Advaita Vedanta Yoga and Tantra

    Religion There are few opportunities to provide a genuine fusion between religion and science. Buddhism and Hinduism may offer the richest opportunities for the scholastic exploration of the intersection between these two seemingly disparate disciplines. The Advaita Vedanta, in particular, points the way towards a holistic epistemology. Providing both metaphysical and scientific grounds for understanding universal phenomenon, the Advaita Vedanta can become a shared paradigm between science and religion. This fusion

  • Role of Women in Tibet

    The film Women of Tibet endeavors to give light on the probable happenings when in case two forces, the divine feminine and the sacred masculine commences to work together in a bid to create a more peaceful world. Helga Huebach ('Ladies of the Tibetan Empire') argues that males in the 7-9th century used high profiled women as a means of establishing their political stability by their matrimonial alliances.Before 1959 and

  • Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi Was Mohandas

    If the person reacts with hatred or anger, he gets no immediate relief and instead develops a negative attitude and feeling, which will lead to his own downfall. The generation of hatred and hateful thoughts produces undesirable forms of existence in future lives and also creates a distorted image of the person who harbors that hatred. Others can sense it and even experience steam of hostility coming out of

  • Scientology Introducing a New Religious Movement One

    Scientology Introducing a New Religious Movement, one must be as objective as possible. I, for instance, could choose to tell you that L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology in 1954 and marketed it as an organization for social reform that essentially became the global force it is today, with (young, professional, stylish, racially-diverse) adherents providing positive sound bites on Scientology.org that promote (in naturalistic, community-oriented settings) the religion as

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved