Friday, 22 March 2019

Daily Zen #essentialsofrecovery

The Goal of Buddhism and the Meaning of Life...

The Buddhist goal is the achievement of human perfection, which should be the real purpose of life. It is in this sense that life has meaning, and which should inform the most salient aspects of human activity. A person who has made good progress along the Buddhist path would have reached a high degree of happiness, contentment and freedom from fear. Sometimes material affluence is seen as the goal of many persons, but these do not necessarily bring about the happiness which the Buddha sought to promote. Many religions look upon the present life as a ground for laying the foundation in a future life after physical death. Some Buddhists also adopt this attitude and try to secure a good rebirth or even Nirvana without residue. Exhortations from the Buddha could be produced to this effect. But the Buddha also affirms that we must make use of the present life, of which we are sure, and that the pursuit of the Noble Eightfold Path is the best way of doing so regardless of any consequences that may happen after death.

Buddhism recognizes no creeds whose uncritical acceptance is expected of its followers. Instead the Buddha enunciated certain basic laws and truths whose veracity he invited his followers to test for themselves. One of the traditional epithets of the Dharma is "ehipassiko" (meaning literally "come and see") which is an appeal to the empirical verification of the Dharma. In his very first discourse the Buddha identified Four Noble Truths as forming the core of the Dharma. These four Truths have since become a convenient way of stating the fundamentals of the Dharma. They are often regarded as the most basic teaching of the Buddha. In addition, the Buddha proclaimed several other doctrines, the most important being those of karma and re-birth. The validity of such doctrines is more difficult for an ordinary person to verify, but their dogmatic acceptance is not expected as a fundamental requirement of those who go for refuge to the "Three Gems" (Buddha, Dharma,Sangha) of Buddhism . 
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