Friday, April 18, 2014

The Buddha Stood By and Watched

The Buddha Stood By and Watched 

It just love and I now,
doing whatever happens. 

All comes your way for a reason. 

It snowed once, more than it had in years,
above a village in Tibet, and come spring,
the temperature climbed higher than normal. 

A tidal wave of slush roared down the mountain
and wiped out many families. 
The Buddha stood by and watched, 
then walked slowly off. 

What the average person did not see was 
that all those souls dove headfirst into him. 
He mixed them with his being. 
They ran through his veins
shouting with joy. 

What could you know of anything 
if you don't believe? 

             When I read this poem I was shocked by it, and I still don't like it. Conversely, I think it brings to mind an important point: what do we know of other religions unless we practice them? If death is brought to a village in the form of a natural disaster, it probably is comforting to believe that the lost souls are joyfully with the Buddha now. As it approaches Easter, I am doing a three day series on Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Taken from BuddhaNet Education:
  • Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. 
  • To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy or 'way of life'. The Buddhist path can be summed up as:
    • (1) to lead a moral life
    • (2) to be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions
    • (3) to develop wisdom and understanding
  • Siddhartha Gotama was born into a royal family in Lumbini, now located in Nepal, in 563 BC. At 29, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness, so he explored the different teachings religions and philosophies of the day, to find the key to human happiness. 
  • Buddha was not, nor did he claim to be a God. He was a man who taught a path to enlightenment from his own experience.
  • Buddhists sometimes pay respect to images of the Buddha, not in worship, nor to ask for favours. A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves.
  • Real Buddhism is very tolerant and not concerned with labels like 'Christian', 'Muslim', 'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'; that is why there have never been any wars fought in the name of Buddhism. That is why Buddhists do not preach and try to convert, only explain if an explanation is sought.
  • The Buddha asked all his followers not to take his word as true, but rather to test the teachings for themselves. ln this way, each person decides for themselves and takes responsibility for their own actions and understanding. This makes Buddhism less of a fixed package of beliefs which is to be accepted in its entirety, and more of a teaching which each person learns and uses in their own way.

Footprint of the Buddha
(1st century, Gandhara)

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