“He who experiences the unity of life, sees his own Self in all beings and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.”Buddhism is a nontheistic religion encompassing a variety of beliefs, traditions and practices. It is about self-redemption and discovering the true nature of reality.It all began in 563 BC when Siddhartha Gautama was born in to a well-to-do Hindu family near the border of India and Nepal. Unfulfilled with his life, Siddhartha spent seven years travelling around India. During this time he practiced meditation and deeply reflected on the nature of life. During one meditation, whilst sitting under a bodhi tree, he received his first three enlightened visions. Siddhartha, commonly known as Buddha, meaning ‘the awakened one’, spent 45 years sharing his insights with anyone who wanted to learn.
Buddhism is based on his teachings. 200 years after his death one thousand monks worked to record his teachings in to writing. This is known as the Pali Canon, it took nine months to complete.
Buddha never envisaged himself as establishing a religion.
Buddhists believe in freedom from suffering and to achieve this you must reach enlightenment. To achieve inpidual enlightenment you need to deeply reflect on the nature of life. There are Four Noble Truths that all Buddhists need to understand: the truth of suffering, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of the cessation of suffering and lastly the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering. Once you understand this, you aim to achieve the ultimate goal, the pine state of Nirvana or stillness of the mind.There are many different strains of Buddhism. Theravada and Mahayana are the two main strains. Theravadic Buddhists study from the Pali canon and maintain the importance of the community of monks. Mahayana Buddhism is a more liberal interpretation and open to a wider range of ideas. Other strains include Lamaism and Zen Vajrayana.Buddhism spread from India to all over the world. It is mainly popular in Asian countries like Tibet, China, Japan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and generally all of Southeast Asia. Obviously, Buddhism is huge in Tibet, being the home country of the Dalai Lama.If you’re interested in learning more about Buddhism then come and join us on one of our wonderful small group tours in India, Tibet, Nepal or Sri Lanka
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