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Buddhists/Buddhism Beliefs

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Question
Hi there,
i was just wondering what the main sort of 'core' beliefs of the Buddhism religion were? Like what stems them to live how they live and do what they do? What are the central beliefs that lead to the actions and word and rituals of the Buddhist religion?

Thankyou very much
Rachel

Answer
Dear Rachel,

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions. I will try my best.

The one core belief of Buddhism is simply KARMA. We believe that all things originate from a cause. That cause for each person is a combination of our past actions, speech and thoughts that come from our viewpoints.

Everything that happens to us has its roots in some actions/speech or decisions we have made in the past. Therefore, with this belief, we know that since current situations are the results of part karma, we know that our actions/speech/thoughts are very important to control.

If we do good things, we know we will receive good results. If we do evil things, we know we will receive bad results. Therefore, we strive to make good decisions and not create negative karma. By not creating negative karma, we are trying to influence our future to be more positive and favorable.

Not only do we try to go good to receive good results, we also strive to learn from our past mistakes. We contemplate on past failures or undesirable states in order to learn what choices/desires we made that led to that undesirable situation. This way, we can learn from it and strive to prevent it from recurring in the future.

This is not different than the science that deals with health. If we eat healthy, exercise and generally take care of our bodies, we will be physically healthy. If we intake poisons and unhealthy foods and fail to take care of our bodies, we will be physically sick and weak. We don't treat our bodies well due to fear, but due to understanding. That which we put in, is what we have. If we put in good things into our bodies, our bodies have the best chance for strength and health, if we put in bad things into our bodies, we will have a high chance that we will be weak and sickly.

This is also the same for work. Or relationships. Or in fact, EVERY aspect of life. We get what we put in.

This thought and belief is what drives ALL of Buddhism and our actions, speech and traditions. However, this is the ideal understanding, not everyone has achieved it, hence the need for practice.

I hope I have answered your questions.

Buddhists

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Anandapanyo Bhikkhu

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I can answer questions about Buddhist practice, Buddhist understanding and how to apply Buddhism to daily life. I can help analyze Buddhist sayings and teachings. In addition, I can help with questions Buddhism stories, fables and Vinaya(rules). I have meditated for over 10 years and can help you start with meditation. In addition, I can help provide insight into what to do when you feel that you have hit a wall with your meditation. My main area of expertise is how to think in accordance with Sammaditthi (the right view - and number 1 in the Buddha's Noble Eightfold Path. If I cannot answer your question, I have many able teachers with over 20 years experience to help me, so chances are I will be able to find an answer for you.

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I have been practicing Buddhism since I was born, but as a serious practice since 2003. I started studying under various famous Thai Theravada masters. Finally, I met and studied under Phra Acariya Thoon Khippapanyo who has recently passed away on Nov 11, 2008 and is widely accepted as a great Arahant (fully enlightened) teacher of our time. In addition, I have personally read and studied much of the Buddhist scriptures and popular literature available. I have recently undertaken the ordination vows and have become a Buddhist monk in the theravada forest monk tradition. I reside at a temple with many dedicated practitioners and great teachers. I have been practicing training my mind to be aligned with right view (sammaditthi) for over 10 years. I have also been meditating for over 10 years. In my time spent with Acariya Thoon, I learned many things and was able to incorporate them into my life. In addition to practicing Buddhism within temples and my home, I used to own two restaurants and managed commercial real estate. I had to deal with many different and problems. I learned how to use Buddhism to fix my problems, both externally (my environment) and internally (within me).

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Electrical Engineering Degree from the University of California Santa Barbara MBA from San Francisco State

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