Buddhism for Beginners

Buddhism for Beginners

Thubten Chodron

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 1559391537

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This user’s guide to Buddhist basics takes the most commonly asked questions—beginning with “What is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings?”—and provides simple answers in plain English. Thubten Chodron’s responses to the questions that always seem to arise among people approaching Buddhism make this an exceptionally complete and accessible introduction—as well as a manual for living a more peaceful, mindful, and satisfying Life. Buddhism for Beginners is an ideal first book on the subject for anyone, but it’s also a wonderful resource for seasoned students, since the question-and-answer format makes it easy to find just the topic you’re looking for, such as:

   • What is the goal of the Buddhist path?
   • What is karma?
   • If all phenomena are empty, does that mean nothing exists?
   • How can we deal with fear?
   • How do I establish a regular meditation practice?
   • What are the qualities I should look for in a teacher?
   • What is Buddha-nature?
   • Why can't we remember our past lives?

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nirvana, which is the absence of all unsatisfactory experiences and their causes. A path exists to realize reality and increase our good qualities. The Buddha described this path, and we have the ability to actualize it. The path is often described by the Three Higher Trainings: Ethical Discipline, Meditative Stabilization, and Wisdom. First, we must become a good human being who functions well in society and lives harmoniously with others. The Higher Training of Ethical Discipline enables us to

The musical instruments and the way of bowing differ as well. For example, the Chinese stand up while chanting, while the Tibetans sit down. These variations are due to cultural adaptations. Similarly, the internal design of the temples may vary according to the place. Generally, temples have a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha in the center, and according to the tradition, other Buddhas, bodhisattvas, arhats, and Dharma protectors may also be depicted. The Tibetan environment was very stark, so

nunneries, nuns’ communities, and educational institutions for women are being built in both Asia and the West. These need funds to operate and to help the Dharma flourish. Women who wish to do long retreats need support, as do those who organize social welfare programs, publish Dharma books, and translate texts. People could keep this in mind when they make offerings to support the Dharma. Since 1987, international conferences for Buddhist women have been regularly held and Sakyadhita, an

clothes and find jobs to support themselves. Others have enough to live hand to mouth, but if they become ill, or want to travel to receive teachings or do long retreat, they face financial difficulties. When people take ordination, do they reject their family and friends? Not at all. Their deciding not to live a family life themselves does not mean they reject their parents and siblings. Although monastics wish to give up attachment to their family and friends, they still love their family and

to them out of fear of being miserable when they aren’t there. Nonattachment is a calm, realistic, open, and accepting attitude. It isn’t hostile, paranoid, or unsociable. Having a balanced attitude doesn’t mean rejecting our friends and family. It means relating to them in a different way. When we aren’t attached, our relationships with others are harmonious, and in fact, our affection for them increases. Buddhism emphasizes cherishing others before self. Can this lead to codependent

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