Week 7

Becoming a Buddha

Let’s look at the Buddha’s life bearing in mind the following perspectives.

The Buddhist path of ‘Ethics, Meditation and Wisdom’

The Triratna  system of practice: 

Integration, positive emotion, spiritual death, spiritual rebirth and spiritual receptivity.

Developing ‘being present in the moment’ with ‘a sense of purpose and direction’

1. Integration – mental cohesion, being one self.

            Mindfulness of Breathing

2. Positive Emotion – Keeping our mind positive,

            Metta Bhavana (The Brahma Vihara’s)

3. Spiritual Death – letting go of unskillful habits and behaviours.

             Stupa Visualisation Practice (For OM’s this would be 6 Element practice)

4. Spiritual Rebirth – Creative responses and development of skillful habits.           Buddhanusmrti Practice  – Bring the Buddha, and his qualities to Mind   (For OM’s this would be their Sadhana)

5. Spiritual Receptivity – from being open to new ideas and reflection through just Sitting Practice to being truly receptive to reality – experiences under the Rose Apple and Bodhi Trees.

From Siddhartha Gautama Shakya to Shakyamuni Buddha

1          Finding Himself  and Going forth

Born into the Shakya clan.  Kept at home away from the realities of  the world. But eventually sees the four sights

  • Old Age
  • Sickness
  • Death
  • The Seeker

The fact that others (the Seeker) is looking for a way to address the conditions and oppressions of human existence inspires Siddartha to Go Forth .

Discussion Point: How do we relate to Going Forth?

2          More than appropriate effortAppropriate Attitude and Attention

Siddhartha  watching his father Śuddhodana ploughing the field, After following several meditation masters leading to starving and dominating the body Siddhartha realised he was near the point of death, not realisation. Recalling his sitting under an apple tree shaped and calm and watching the pastoral scene of his father’s ritual cutting of the first furrow of spring, Siddhartha was a middle way arising in his mind.

Discussion Point: Have we any experiences like that in our life?

3          Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree

He ate. And sitting under a Bodhi tree for 45 days and nights ….

Discussion Point: How to we relate to the journey to enlightenment?

4          45 years of teaching the way to enlightenment

At this point, it is said that the Brahmā Sahampati, the senior most of the High Gods, perceiving the Buddha‘s thought, becomes alarmed and cries out, ―The world is lost!

Fearing that the world might perish through not hearing the Dharma, he entreats the Buddha to teach the Dharma as there are …beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dharma. There will be those who will understand the Dharma.

(From the Vinaya)

5          Shakyamuni’s legacy

The lay disciples and the monastic order. Ethical Code. Meditation Practice. A Path.

Also a progression of lineage with teachers both enlightened and unenlightened down through the ages. The possibility and a path to enlightenment for each individual.

Discussion Point: What is our situation and Legacy? And how do we feel about Shakyamuni’s legacy?. .