Characteristics Of Buddhism Term Paper
And it was a wonderful job working with largely wonderful people.
The administration, monks, and students knew that I was an atheist and had absolutely no problem with it as long as I didn't actively proselytise (try and find a Catholic school that would hire a moderate agnostic, let alone a fully out-of-the-closet atheist).
Children have a hard enough time keeping up their self-esteem as it is without every botched homework being a sign of lurking inner evil.
As crippling as the weight of one's past lives can be, however, it is nothing compared to the horrors of the here and now.
But if we start looking a bit closer, at the ramifications of Buddhist belief in practice, there is a lurking darkness there, quietly stated and eloquently crafted, but every bit as profound as the Hellfires of Christianity or the rhetoric of jihad.
For nine years, I worked as a science and maths teacher at a small private Buddhist school in the United States.
That's enough to give us pause right there – it's not really a process of self-discovery if you're told the method, the steps, and the only acceptable conclusion before you've even begun.
Here's the fourteenth (and current) Dalai Lama on how to start a meditation: "First, look to your posture: arrange the legs in the most comfortable position; set the backbone as straight as an arrow.
Being hyper-sensitive to suffering and injustice is a good gateway to being helpful to your fellow man and in general making the world a better place. There is something dreadfully tragic about believing yourself to have somehow failed your calling whenever joy manages to creep into your life.
It is in our biology, in the fabric of us, to connect to other human beings, and anything which tries to insert shame and doubt into that instinct is bound to always twist us every so slightly.
If the thought, "I am happy right now", can never occur without an accompanying, "And I am just delaying my ultimate fulfillment in being so", then what, essentially, has life become?
I remember one of the higher monks at the school giving a speech in which she described coming back from a near-death experience as comparable to having to "return to a sewer where you do nothing but subsist on human excrement." Life is suffering. Now, there are legitimate philosophical reasons for holding to this view.
Viewed from a certain perspective, the destruction of everything you've ever cared about is inevitable, and when it's being experienced, the pain of loss does not seem recompensed by the joy of attachment that preceded it.