What is Buddhism?

Buddhist Life Hacks: A Voice of Reason in a Turbulent World

Video no. 2 in the series Buddhist Life Hacks: A Voice of Reason in a Turbulent World is now available on Lama Jampa's YouTube channel. 

What is Buddhism?

Before the teachings of the Buddha came to the West, the term Buddhism did not exist; there was just the dharma, the teachings that one followed in order to achieve enlightenment. Buddhists are simply the people who consider that what the Buddha taught is the most helpful advice for living and who are committed to trying to follow and put that advice into action.

Profound Buddhist Truths About the World

Through his own efforts the Buddha experienced the empty and luminous nature of his own mind and realised the most profound truths about the world. Later he would express these in his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths. With this deep understanding he achieved both the cessation of his own suffering and a complete understanding of exactly how it is that all beings, whilst seeking happiness, actually experience an endless round of difficulties. From this wisdom there arose his boundless compassion, wishing all beings to be free from their sufferings.


Practical Advice for Ethical Living

We can understand the Buddha’s teachings as guidance for how to live, in order that we can reach the same realisation that he did. To do this we need to examine our situation, both our external and internal worlds. If our minds and our lives are very wild and out of control, following our emotions and habitual tendencies, then we will have no peace and be unable to find the space for contemplation. This is because, with such a way of life, we are living at odds with our true nature, our awakened, enlightened nature; therefore, in Buddhism the first advice is to tame our minds and train ourselves to live an ethical, moral life.

Looking Beneath the Surface

It is only once we have calmed ourselves down with a bit of self control that we will be able to look below the surface of our busyness and begin to get a sense that all is not what it seems. Through meditation we create the space for a deeper understanding of life to develop.

Examining our Experiences

What is this thing I call ‘myself’? Where is its permanence? How can it be said to be independent? And what of the solid world of objects I experience and that plague my life with desires and aversions? In what way are they independent, solid and unchanging? By applying the clear guidance of the Buddha to such contemplations we can slowly uncover for ourselves the timeless truths that we overcome ignorance and the suffering it causes.

Finding Out Who We Really Are

The Buddha’s teachings consist simply of advice about how to follow a path from discontentment and confusion to happiness and realisation. It is a guide to finding out who we really are.

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Lama Jampa Thaye is a scholar and meditation master trained in the Sakya and Karma Kagyu traditions of Buddhism.  He is authorised as a Lama and Vajrayana master by his two main teachers Karma Thinley Rinpoche and His Holiness Sakya Trichen (41st Sakya Trizin).