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Christian View of Buddhism

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Buddhism is one of the largest religions in the world, and it is continually expanding throughout the world. Buddhism comes from "budhi", which means "to awaken", the goal of Buddhism. Buddhism is a very open and adaptive religion. Because of this, there are over 80,000 different types of Buddhism. The two most widest beleived being Mahayanna and Theraveda. There are about 3-4 million Buddhists in America now. Buddhism is rich in history and it appeals to millions, as it spreads messages of peace, equality, and fairness with little or no commitment needed on the follower.

The goal of Buddhism is to reach enlightenment. Enlightenment is not only for those who are extremely "good". Every person has the potential to reach that state of Enlightenment. To reach the ultimate goal, all one has to do is follow the core teachings.

The core teachings of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. The Four Noble Truths are as follows

1) "Life is suffering"

2) "All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance"

3) "Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment"

4) "The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path". Hence, material wealth is not necessary to living.

The Eightfold Path is crucial on the path to finding enlightenment. It is called the "Middle Way, and is the "one and only way" to reach the Four Noble Truths and end suffering". The eight parts of the Middle Way are

1) right understanding--that is, understanding of the nature of suffering in the world

2) right thought (the desire to practice Buddhism)

3) right speech (avoidance of lies and slander)

4) right action (shunning extramarital sex and acts of cruelty)

5) right livelihood (refraining from immoral or unsuitable occupations)

6) right moral effort (cultivating a peaceful and good state of mind)

7) right mindfulness (self-awareness)

8) right concentration (meditation)

Another significant teaching of Buddhism is the afterlife. Buddhists believe in what is called Nirvana. But unlike Christianity's heaven, Nirvana is impermanent. The duration of a stay in Nirvana depends on a person's karma. Karma is "the sum total of one's actions, good or bad". After one's stay in Nirvana, they are reincarnated.

One thing that fascinates me about Buddhism is the appeal is has to so many people in the world. Is a world



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