Buddha: Upclose & Personal

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As the 4th largest religion in the world with approximately 520 million followers, Buddhism has stepped out of the temples and into our daily lives through practices such as Mindfulness, Meditation, Yoga…More and more people who are not Buddhists are practicing the teachings as modern life calls for more compassion and demands more relaxations.

How much do you know about the man that started it all? Here are some facts about Buddha that might surprise you.

  • He doesn’t claim to be a savior of souls, he is merely a teacher of practices that lead to enlightenment.
  • As a practitioner of moderation, Buddha is actually skinny and not chubby as depicted world-wide. Buddha originated in Asian cultures and ancient Asian cultures often regard to “plumpness” as healthy.
  • Buddha probably doesn’t have the hair bun, the robe, and the halo as depicted in many sculptures. During that time, Greek architecture style dominated standard artistry and this mentality probably influenced what became Buddha’s official image.
  • He doesn’t actually symbolize salvation but rather wisdom that can be obtained through an ideal state of intellectual and ethical perfection which he believes humans can achieve through practice of mindfulness, moderation, and meditation.
  • At the initial formation of Buddhism, women were allowed to participate in many monastic orders. Buddha treated women and men equally in his teachings.
  • Buddha’s teaching involves the core principles of the Three Universal Truths; the Four Noble Truths; and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Three Universal Truths are: Nothing is lost in the universe, everything Changes and the Law of Cause & Effect. The Four Noble Truths explain: suffering exists, the cause of suffering is attachment, there is an end to suffering, to end suffering you should follow the Noble Eightfold Path. The Path includes: right understanding, right thinking, right speech, right livelihood, right conduct, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.