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Buddhist Beliefs and Practices
Posted In: Religion Articles  7/29/06
By: Yona Williams

Buddhism is based upon a variety of beliefs and practices. Below you will learn of some of the main components of this particular belief system. Buddhists believe in the Three Jewels, which are also referred to as the Three Refuges. They are:


The Buddha

The sangha, which is the monastic community

The dharma, which refers to the teachings of the religion, also known as the “truth”


There are three delusions looked down upon, in regards to the religion. They are ignorance, anger or hatred, as well as desire. The three trainings stressed upon followers are wisdom, moral discipline, as well as concentration. A few terms you should familiarize yourself with when studying Buddhism includes anicca, dukkha and anatta. These terms refer to the Three Marks of Existence. Anicca stands for impermanence, while dukkja means unsatisfactoriness. The concept of no-self is seen through the term, anatta.


Buddhists believe in Four Noble Truths. Four Reminders and Four Bodhisattva Vows. According to, they are:


Four Noble Truths


1. All of life is marked by suffering.

2. Suffering can be eliminated.

3. Suffering is caused by desire and attachment.

4. Suffering is eliminated by following the Noble Eightfold Path.


Four Reminders

1. Human life is precious.
2. Death is inevitable.
3. The laws of karma cannot be avoided.
4. Suffering permeates all existence.


Four Bodhisattva Vows

1. I vow to rescue the boundless living beings from suffering.
2. I vow to put an end to the infinite afflictions of living beings.
3. I vow to learn the measureless Dharma-doors.
4. I vow to realize the unsurpassed path of the Buddha.


Much like the 10 Commandments, there are similar concepts regarding the Buddhist culture. Referred to as the Five Precepts, they are:


1. Do not kill.
2. Do not steal.
3. Do not engage in sexual misconduct.
4. Do not lie.
5. Do not use intoxicants.


There are said to be Four Immeasurables within the Buddhist culture. They are also called the Sublime States. They are Equanimity (upekkha); Loving-kindness (metta); Compassion (karuna), as well as Sympathetic joy (mudita). Thorughout the religion, five seems to be an important number. There are Five Powers adhered to within Buddhism, which are mindfulness, wisdom, samadhi, energy/effort, as well as faith/confidence. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, samadhi refers to a deep state of meditation. There are also Five Hindrances within the religion, which are: sense craving, anger/ill will, sloth, restlessness/worry, as well as doubt (sometimes referred to as the inner critic).


Six is also an important number within Buddhism. You will see this when studying the Six Perfections, which are patience, concentration, effort, generosity, moral actions, as well as wisdom. There are also Six Realms of Existence. They are called: hell-beings, animals, humans, hungry ghosts, Gods, as well as anti-gods/demi-gods.


Other details surrounding the Buddhist religion, which are quite important, as well as interesting, include:


The Noble Eightfold Path: Including right speech, right effort and the right beliefs


Twelve Links of Dependent Arising: Including feeling, birth, aging, ignorance, as well as craving


Buddhists also follow the Ten Paramita, which includes wisdom, kindness, ethics and patience





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