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Buddhism is a religion that is founded on the teachings of Siddharta Gautama. Buddhism is mainly practiced in Nepal, India, where Gotama Siddharta was born. He lived in affluence and discovered that wealth and luxury did not mean human happiness. As a result, he explored different religion teachings in search of human happiness. According to Siddharta, true happiness is enlightenment or the truth. Buddhism is a practice and part of spiritual development practiced by individuals that provide a real insight in truth of the world and reality in nature. The principles and practices of Buddhism are known as truths or Dhamna that Buddha lived to teach, until he met his death. This religion is a way of an individual changing her or him in, order to acquire the quality of wisdom, awareness and kindness. Buddhism was developed within the Buddhist traditions over a thousand years ago. Buddhism focuses on Buddhist spiritual life and showing the end of suffering of individuals who attains life (Huston 83).
Buddhism does not believe in the practice of worshipping a creator god; thus, some do not view it as religion in the western sense. Unlike other religions, Buddhism practices and teachings are temporal, actions have penalties, and it incorporates changes. Buddhism is for all people irrespective of their, nationality, race, caste, gender or sexuality. Its teachings are practical hence enable individuals to understand the teachings and apply them to change their life experiences and live as responsible individuals.
There are six perfectionists that guide the Buddhist practices and principals. They are society and individual virtues that are practiced to bring the individuals in true enlightenment and understanding of the nature reality. The six perfections offer a way in to the personal enlightenment. Each of the six perfections backs up the other five perfections in practice; however, the order of the perfections is significant. They are arranged from virtues of individuals that include generosity, morality and patience with others. The other three are concerning more of the spiritual practices than personal practice; they include: energy, meditation and wisdom (Huston 95). The following is a discussion of each of the practice of perfections in the order of their significance to Buddhism.
To begin with is perfection practice of generosity which is the ‘Dana paramita’ in Buddhism. This is the most essential perfections of practice of the six. It is the most significant guide to truth and enlightenment (dharma). Generosity to all persons is the beginning of enlightenment in an individual’s life. Perfection of generosity is entails an individual’s true and sincere generosity of spirit. Generosity is giving from a sincere heart with the motive of helping others and in no anticipation of a reward in return. If there are any ulterior motives, it beats generosity (Huston 107). For instance, charity work and donations done and given, so thus the person can feel good is not a perfection practice of generosity.
On the second practice of perfections is ‘Sila Paramita’ which is the perfection of morality. In Buddhism, morality constitutes unquestioned obedience to a set of rules and regulations that are outlined. There are principles that act as training guides. The principle guides the individuals until they find a balance in life which means the truth in reality of nature (Hagen 124). When an individual strikes a balance in truth of life he or she is able to respond in the most appropriate way to life situations without having to consult the outlined set of rules and regulations. In the practice of the perfection of morality, an individual acquires selfless compassion for others and life. A person also practices renunciation in the practice of the perfection of morality and acquires favor and appreciation of karma.
The thirdly one is the perfection of patience which is ‘ksanti paramita’ in Buddhism. This perfection of practice calls for tolerance, patience, endurance, forbearance and composure. It means the ability to withstand. Perfection of morality is the last practice of perfection that addresses an individual. It has three dimensions; one is the person's ability to endure or withstand personal hardships in life. It also looks at the personal patience with other individuals that a person lives with. Finally, it focuses on the individual patience with and acceptance of truth of life. Perfection of patience begins when an individual accepts the four noble truths in life; this includes the truth of suffering in one’s life. The second noble truth is the truth about the cause of suffering in one’s life. The third focuses on the end of suffering, and the last one is the path that frees individuals from suffering. By practicing, the perfection of patience turns an individual focus on his suffering to the suffering of others. Accepting the truth means accepting easy and difficult truths about an individual, such as all people are mortal and will die at some point in life, and that all individuals are greedy in nature (Hagen 124).
The next stratum of perfections of practice guides the person’s spiritual life. One is the perfection of energy in Buddhism – the ‘Virya Paramita’. Perfection of energy means making a brave, courageous and heroic effort, in order to acquire truth and enlightenment. For a person to practice the perfection of energy, one must develop his or her own character and courage. This is achieved by rigorous spiritual trainings of an individual, and full dedication of fearless efforts motivated to benefit others.
The next perfection of practice is the perfection of meditation. Perfection of meditation is ‘Dhyana Paramita’ in Buddhism. According to Buddhist, meditation is inculcated in an individual’s mind. It demands concentration that is employed to achieve clarity and insight on truth. This is the base of wisdom that precedes this perfection of practice.
Lastly is the practice of perfection is the perfection of Wisdom which is the ‘Prajna Paramta’ in Buddhism. According to Buddhism, wisdom is the intimate and direct realization of ‘sunyata’; it is the realization of emptiness of truth. This ultimate practice of perfection includes all the practice of perfection. According to Roshi (p.107), the perfection of practice is the most significant spiritual practice of perfection of wisdom and all other practices minor that work to build on the perfection of wisdom. This perfection of practice determines an individual entry to dharma. This perfection of wisdom argues that a person may face different phenomena in life that may not have self-essence. However, as an individual practice, the significance of perfection of wisdom is evident and it cannot be overemphasized. Perfection of wisdom is not understood by intellects alone, but by the practice of all the other perfections of practice.
In summary, Buddhism is a religion for all people irrespective of their nationality, race, caste, gender or sexuality. Unlike other religions that have God as their central focus, Buddhism is non-theistic. Most religions are guided by beliefs, unlike Buddhism, where they believe in life doctrines that lead individuals to truth. There are two misconceptions that most people have on Buddhism that all Buddhist are vegetarians and believe in reincarnation (Huston 143). This is not the case vegetarianism in Buddhism is encouraged in many sects, but it is an individual’s choice to practice it or not. Buddhist laws and teachings on rebirth are different from reincarnation.