I don’t know about you, but I happen to think that chubby little Buddha is one of the cutest things on Earth. As a matter of fact, I have a ton of mini Buddhas everywhere; in my car, in my dorm, in my boyfriend’s apartment, and in my grandmother’s home. They’re all mine and I love them. People see them and say, “Oh, are you a Buddhist?” Of course, I’m not going to sit there and lie and tell them that I am a Buddhist and create all these magical philosophies about Buddhism. To be honest, I don’t really have a religion. Which, for some reason deeply offends some people, but hey buddy it’s my life. Anyways, from what I understand of Buddhism, it’s a very peaceful practice. But I want to know more than just the few things that I know, so I’m doing some research and I’m sharing it with you!
So, it all started 26 centuries ago, with a man named Siddhartha Gautama, who lived somewhere in Northeast India. This man, Siddhartha, went on a journey to become the Buddha, which also means the awakened one. Now, in English Buddha was said to be enlightened, which is where all the talk about reaching enlightenment and journeys to enlightenment came from, however in Sanskrit the word Buddha is really Bodhi, which means awakened. Either way, he was a spiritual and balanced man.
After reaching this enlightened or awakened state of being, Buddha went on to teach others about it. He did not simply tell them about how he feels now that he’s enlightened. Instead he taught them how to find this enlightenment on their own.
The big difference between Buddhism and other religions is that they don’t focus on a central God or any God for that matter. They focus on enlightenment. The Buddha is not considered a God, he is not worshipped, he simply taught.
A basis of Buddhism that Buddha taught after his enlightenment is the Four Noble Truths. Those truths are: Life is frustrating and painful, suffering has cause, the cause of suffering can be ended, and the way or the path to end cause and suffering. Okay, so what does this mean? We know that life is frustrating; things don’t always work out for us. Even when things are going okay for us all we have to do is look around and we can find someone who is suffering. Suffering has cause; we suffer in fight of survival. We are always trying to survive. We want to prove our existence. The cause of suffering can be ended; we do not need to prove anything, we do not need to struggle to survive, to prove that we are here. Let go of how we think things should be, and just live simply and straight-forwardly. Meditation is the way, the path to end cause and suffering. We must be mindful of the things that cause us distress.
Of course, the four noble truths are just a small part of the Buddhist believe system. However they are strong and powerful. There is much more to Buddhism than the few things that I have discusses here. However, it is a spiritual way of life, of figuring out the truth of the world around us. It is about possessing positive qualities, like awareness and kindness.
I’m not done researching and I will probably write more articles on the topic. I’m not sure I would call myself a Buddhist, I’m not sure that I know enough about the religion. But, I still think that statue of the little chunkaliscious Buddha is the cutest thing ever and you know what, whether or not I fully follow or fully understand the religion, looking at him makes me happy and makes me feel peaceful.