We see it all around us on a daily basis in Udon Thani.
People humbly feeding monks in the morning, various different fantastical parades, glorious temples, somewhat dangerous rocket festivals, plus many other wonderfully curious events right in front of our eyes.
But do we understand it? Do we really know what all this great fuss is about?
A Brief Summary Of Buddhism
According to Buddhism we are caught in an eternal cycle of life and death. We are born, we suffer, we die, we are born again, we suffer, we die we are born again, we suffer we die etc.
Suffering in terms in Buddhism is as much about mental as physical suffering. Anguish dashed expectation, frustration, anger, grief, disappointment and many more. Buddhism is about an individual’s journey to escape this endless cycle of life and death and suffering and mental anguish.
How Is This Done?
This is done by achieving spiritual enlightenment. By achieving spiritual enlightenment we can escape this cycle and enter Nirvana. Where all suffering is gone.
Spiritual enlightenment is achieved by accepting the four noble truths of Buddhism and following the eight fold path.
The Four Noble Truths Again
- we suffer, we die, we are reborn
- We can know the cause
- We can stop this suffering
- There is a specific way out (The eight fold path of Buddhism)
By following the eight fold path you can realise that there is no self, no want, no desire and no feelings. You can transcend your physical body, become one with the universe, escape the cycle of life and death, end suffering for ever and enter Nirvana.
So there you have it. Buddhism is about reaching a higher spiritual plane above that of the physical world that we find ourselves in now. By reaching that plane all suffering is gone and you have escaped the never ending cycle of life, death, and suffering.
Not a particularly bad end goal really.
Another great article from Rob Gall, which the Times Group Thailand editorial team are pleased to republish from their archives for our new readers.