Want to get started with Buddhism? Here is your guide from Jonah Engler

Of all the religions operating globally, Buddhism is one of the oldest religious institutions operating with huge acceptance. The central part of Buddha’s teaching is ways of overcoming suffering. Some guiding principles put forward by Lord Buddha will help you achieve enlightenment. Buddhism is more than just a religious institution. It is a way of life. From five precepts to four noble truths and the eightfold path, there are multiple teachings that Lord Buddha has put forward. For an absolute beginner, understanding these in detail is significant. So, let’s get started. 

The five precepts

The five precepts are a code of conduct in the Buddhist religion. These are rules for helping people behave ethically and morally. Buddhists must follow these rules to ensure that they live a decent and morally appropriate life. It helps them to achieve enlightenment by overcoming suffering. The five precepts include refraining from suicide, grabbing, and abstaining from misuse of senses, refraining from wrong speech, and refraining from intoxicants. When you practice these precepts, it gives you a sense of morality and calms your senses. 

The life wheel

Buddhist belief is incomplete without the mention of the life wheel. Lord Buddha taught that every individual experiences suffering or dukkha. These are a sense of satisfaction that compels people to take away their lives. Hence, you have to understand the underlying cause behind this issue. Along with this, the term Karma is also central to the wheel of life. It is the action that has consequences. Jonah Engler propagates that the Buddha’s rebirth, death, and energy form the fundamental part of the wheel of life. These ideas are known as samsara in totality. 

The four noble truths

Another viable part of Buddhist thought and philosophy is the four noble truths. These are significant teachings of Lord Buddha and consist of the following: 

  • Everyone’s life is full of suffering. 
  • Desire is the cause of suffering  
  • You can end suffering. 
  • The eightfold path is the way to end suffering. 

Buddhism has two divisions which are the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism is a conservative and old form of Buddhism often known as the elder’s tradition. On the other hand, Jonah Engler expresses that Mahayana Buddhists believe they may gain enlightenment through the Buddha’s teaching. They want to become a bodhisattva and may achieve these through six perfections. These believers follow the eightfold path in their approach to gaining enlightenment. 

The eightfold part

The eightfold part is also known as the middle way and is a significant part of the four noble truths. These are means provided by Buddha that you can follow to end your suffering. The eightfold path known as the three-fold ways encompasses fundamental aspects of Buddhist life. These are meditation ethics and wisdom. The eightfold approach includes the following: 

  • Right action,
  • Right speech,
  • Right mindfulness,
  • Right livelihood,
  • Right effort,
  • Right concentration,
  • Right view,
  • Right intention. 

If you want to get started with Buddhism, these are a few significant points you have to bear in mind to become a true Buddhist. 

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