The Buddha's Teachings

In this series of articles I present the basic teachings of the Buddha. With these texts, you will have plenty of reading material, and when finished, you will have a clear idea of what the Buddha tried to convey to his followers.

  1. The Dharma and the Form Body: During his life, the Buddha had been a source of authority for the Buddhist community. What was left to fill the void when he left? For those who wanted to venerate or to worship the Buddha, the Buddha left behind what was called the form body, comprised simply of the relics of his cremation. For people who wanted to follow the Buddha’s example, he left behind what was called his Dharma. His teaching.

  2. The Four Noble Truths: The traditional summary of the teaching is given in four categories, the so called Four Noble Truths.

  3. The Three Kinds of Suffering: The Buddha claimed that All is Suffering. The ancient tradition of Buddhist teaching interprets the phrase “all is suffering” in three separate ways. Everything is suffering in one or more of three ways.

  4. The Marks of Existence: We are going to further unravel the significance of these three kinds of suffering in Buddhism by relating these three categories to three more concepts. The so called marks of existence.

  5. What am I?: What is our personality? What are we? The answer that Buddhists give typically is that the personality is made up of bundles of momentary phenomena.

  6. Is Buddhism Pessimistic?: Are Buddhists pessimistic when they say that there is no self? Tt doesn’t take much thought to realize that Buddhism is not so much pessimistic as it is realistic.

  7. The Arising of Suffering: The origin of suffering is explained by a causal sequence known as the twelve fold chain of dependent arising. Ignorance leads to desire, desire leads to birth.

  8. What is Nirvana?: What do we mean by Nirvana? What is this concept? You can speak of all sorts of things as being as Nirvana and generally they are quite positive and pleasurable. That is the popular idea about Nirvana, but the truth is that it is not positive in a quite obvious way.

  9. Nirvana as the Solution of Samsara: If you don’t want to come back again and again in some future life, then really what you want to do, what you seek is the stopping of that. And the Buddha found how to do that. That’s the great thing he discovered.

  10. Nirvana as Freedom: Nirvana wasn’t just the moment of death for the Buddha, his Parinirvana. It was also that moment of his awakening that took place when he was a young man. He realizes at that moment that he was free from all the ignorance that drove the cycle of transmigration, and then he lived for forty years. A long, productive life.

  11. The Path of Nirvana: What a Buddhist has to do to achieve Nirvana? What do I have to do if I want to seek that great ideal?

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