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The very essence of Buddha’s teachings is to abandon harming other living beings

 

Published by Gandan Thekchenling Monastery and Dharma Wheel society of the University of Mongolia

 

What does A Buddhist practice?

The essence of practice is a good heart. This means we regard others with warmth and affection and work to increase our love of others. Reciting mantra Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum reminds us the Buddha of compassion.

The main non- virtuous actions we try to abandon are;

1.     Killing. On the contrary we save life protect others from harm

2.     Stealing. We respect other people’ property and possessions and practice generosity

3.     Sexual misconduct. Simply sexual misconduct is having sex with other people’s partners. This causes much disharmony and unhappiness thus we abandon such actions. We cultivate living in fidelity and harmony without partner

4.     Lying. We tell the truth

5.     Slander. We encourage harmony between others and praise their good qualities.

6.     Harsh speech. We cultivate pleasant caring speech

7.     Idle chatter and gossip. This is the least harmful of all these actions but it wastes time for little benefit.

8.     Covetousness. This is mental attitude that grasps at things for oneself

9.     Ill will. This is the attitude that intends to harm others

10.  Wrong views. Disbelief in the law of cause and effect; disbelief in the existence of past and future Buddha; disbelief in the existence of past and future lives. These are non- virtuous because when we have no conviction, we do not control our body, speech and mind and thus we harm ourselves and others.

Why do we practice Buddhism?  

If we look at ourselves and others closely, we can see that we all want happiness and do not want even small problems. However, only wanting happiness does not bring happiness. Likewise, just wanting to be free of problems isn’t enough. In order to achieve happiness and to be free of problems, we need to use a method. For instance; if we want to be a teacher, just wanting to be a teacher isn’t enough we need to practice teaching to become good at it.

Why do we circumambulate the stupas and temple?

The stupa represents the Buddha’s mind. The temples contain many representations of the Buddha’s body, speech and mind. When we walk around them and remember their qualities, this creates positive imprints for developing those ourselves as well as it generates positive potential or merit.

Why do we recite mantras?

Briefly the syllables of the mantras refer to certain qualities like compassion and wisdom. The complete meaning of any mantra is very complex and profound. Reciting them and concentrating on the meaning is cause of generating oneself.

Why do we meditate?

 Meditation is tool or method used to develop one’s qualities on the spiritual path. It means familiarizing one’s mind with a virtuous object such as love, compassion and wisdom. There are two types of meditation- insight and stabilizing.

Insight meditation involves reflection on a topic to develop greater understanding of it.

Stabilizing meditation is placing the mind on a virtuous object to develop very deep level of effortless concentration.