Buddha's story

Born into a royal family of a highly developed culture about 2560 years ago, the young prince from northern India enjoyed extremely privileged circumstances and up until the age of 29 he had known only pleasure.

Leaving his palace for the first time, his world was turned upside down. Over three consecutive days he saw a very sick person, somebody old and someone who had died. Upon his recognition of the inevitability of old age, sickness, death and the impermanence of everything, he became deeply troubled.

Leaving his home and family he wandered the country in search of teachings that could overcome death and suffering. At the age of 35, after six years of deep meditation, he realized the true nature of mind and was enlightened. He therefore became a Buddha, the one awakened from the sleep of ignorance.

The Buddha now experienced the world as it is, without adding or removing anything. With neither expectations nor fear but was simply present and aware of the here and now. He experienced mind as something open, clear and limitless and could therefore handle any situation with fearless joy and active compassion. He then spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching others so that they could do the same.

The Buddha never claimed to be anything other than a human being. Even though he had insight into the life situations of all beings and knew how to help each person individually, he (or his followers) never proclaimed himself to be a god, a savior or a prophet.

The Buddha was the first, but not the last - enlightened being of our age. The only difference between the Buddha and anyone else is that the Buddha realized his potential. This is something anyone can do just as well.

Buddha's teachings

The teaching of the Buddha - also known as Buddhism - is an unsentimental and unpretentious way to freedom and happiness. First and foremost it builds upon experience. Buddhism is not packed with dogma and rules that you are required to follow, but encourages critical questioning. The teachings of the Buddha begin by recognizing life as it is.

Now, don't believe my words because a Buddha told you, but examine them well. Be a light unto yourselves.

-- Buddha

The Buddha taught because he wanted his students to experience the same freedom and happiness that he himself experienced. He did not ask for worship from any student but strove to develop him or her into his equal. In this way Buddhism is not a religion in the ordinary sense, and is in its foundation free from the concept of any outer force presiding over the world of men.

Buddhism's path to freedom and happiness has been practiced throughout the past 2,500 years. Since the time of the Buddha many have realized the nature of mind, and today Buddhist methods are just as effective in the West as they have been in the East.

Buddha's teachings aim at the full development and freedom of body, speech and mind. The goal of the Buddhist is to recognize the nature of mind - to become a Buddha. The practice consists of calming the mind and then training one to transcend the idea of a fixed and unchanging sense of ‘I' or ego.

Buddhism has about 350 million practitioners worldwide. Until 1970s Buddhism was mainly an Asian philosophy but the timeless view of the Diamond Way and its methods is appealing to a growing number of well educated and independent people in North and South America, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Russia.

Buddhist ways

Buddha gave instructions to three main types of people. Hinayana, teachings about cause and effect, he taught to those who wanted to avoid suffering . Mahayana, teachnings on compassion and wisdom, to those who wanted to do more for others.

The most effective teaching Buddha taught to those who wanted to develop quickly for the benefit of all beings. This was the Diamond Way, or Vajrayana. Our Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism still has the Diamond Way teachings in the form of the Mahamudra - "Great Seal".





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