People believe many things regarding the teachings, stories and memes, of a man named Siddhārtha Gautama, son of a rich king, many times portrayed as a smiling bald man with a big belly; we are told he lived around 500 B.C., that he self-realized, that is, he ‘woke up’, became enlightened, and was thus nicknamed the “Buddha” (from Sanskrit “budh”, to wake up, to know, to perceive clearly). This is the Buddhism one finds everywhere on the Internet and books.
A World of Confusion
But if you are really interested in understanding Reality as the Buddha did (aka Dharma, o Dhamma), it is better not to ‘believe’ anything. Better yet, find yourself a teacher you may trust, one already in the know, that is, one who is already awake, and he/she will save you many detours and wasted effort.
If you take the time to read the original texts, with a 21st century mind, you will be able to distill the essence on the wisdom it holds, which is often delivered in poetic, symbolic, archetypal, and metaphorical ways.
The Original Texts
The Tripitaka is the collection of Buddha’s teachings and discourses (he did not write them directly; they were memorized and chanted, then compiled by monks many years after he passed). It comprises about 100 volumes, divided in ‘Three Baskets’, one laying out the monastic rules, another sharing the sutras or discourses of which the fundamental teaching is the Four Noble Truths, and the last one expounding Buddha’s proposed psychotherapy to dispel our ignorance, and thus our anxiety and existential suffering.
A Good Teacher Helps
Few individuals are interested in psycho-somatic-existential concepts, and go through life as rats through a maze. Furthermore, wisdom is of no interest to the modern mind. It behooves us, in our search for knowledge and wisdom, to find a good teacher. The attainment of wisdom, whether Eastern or Western, takes time, study, a strong will and resolve, and yes, also help from someone that has already ‘walked’ the Middle Way.
If you are interested in knowing more about Eastern Thought and the wisdom it shares, feel free to ask away. You can expect clear and simple answers.
If you wish to know -in clear terms- anything regarding Buddha’s wisdom and worldview, about meditation, the difference between Theravada, Hinayana, Mahayana, Tantrayana, Zen, or Rebirth considerations … ask away. You will be surprised to find out all of it comes down to just Three Seals, and Four Noble Truths..
Want to know more? UPANISHAD! (from Sanskrit “upa” (near, by one’s side) and “ni-ṣad” (sit down) i.e., “Sit down near” … ASK … and listen.
It is up to you to take the first step in the Middle Way, the way to transcendental wisdom.
We welcome your questions.