The Australian Aborigines speak of their ‘Dream Time’ of the serpent and creation. In the light of day their dreams were shattered, they were forced to step from hunter gathers into a modern age. In a few generations technology has advanced rapidly and everyone is finding it hard to manage the transition. Few have any understanding of how the indigenous people are struggling to cope with their crushed dreams.
The Buddha’s aim was to relieve suffering in the world. He explained the universal truth that all things are passing and subject to change. This is the cause of dukkah, a Pali word that has no precise synonym, in English we loosely translate it as pain and suffering. The Buddha prescribed a cure for suffering by following eight steps.
The Eightfold Path or The Middle Way is a way of moderation, a philosophy that can be practiced in conjunction with other religions. Because of it being compatible with other beliefs the Buddha’s teachings are now associated with religions and local myths from other countries. There are many schools of Buddhism just as there are many branches and denominations of other religions. The below teaching I have outlined is fundamental to all schools of Buddhism. If you incorporate these steps with your beliefs your life will improve.
This is a self-disciplined guide, to become a better person.
Right understanding, Is understanding the true nature of life, realising all things change and cannot be clung to, is the beginning of right understanding.
Right thoughts, are kind, caring and compassionate thoughts.
Right speech, is honest, considerate and not harsh.
Right actions, are a benefit to all sentient beings.
Right livelihood, is to earn our livelihood in a decent, helpful way not a destructive way.
Right effort, is a matter of doing your best.
Right concentration, meditation is training in concentration and mind control.
Right mindfulness is to be aware of your thoughts and emotions.
These are not commandments they are a guide to self-disciplines, the goal to self-betterment, a path to peace and contentment in a troubled world. The Buddha’s philosophy became a religion after his death, as it spread to other countries their folk laws and myths were added. Many different branches of Buddhism developed, a hierarchy debating over their differences. With all the complex religious ritual and added myths the basic path has been obscured. The result is the basic philosophy Buddha taught, The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path, is often neglected. Buddhists need to wake up.
Once a belief becomes an organised religion it is lost in a power struggle for converts.