As I continue my meditation practice, I‘ve come across writings, chanting, music, attended meditation sessions and the 14th Dalai Lama (no, we have not met, just through his writings). Needless to say, I am in the Buddha zone of the most delightful kind.
Exploring Tibetan Buddhism continues to be an adventure in discovery, critical thinking and practice. As I read various writings and teachings by lay persons and lamas, I gain clarity and new perspectives. Of course putting what I’ve learned to physical practice is different than reading about it. Words in print can be glorified, oohed and awed over. Trying to get them to leave the page is another matter!
The Eightfold Path is one of many tenets within Tibetan Buddhism and shares similarities, in a strange way, with the Ten Commandments in that both are implemented towards spiritual growth and an enlighten way of life. The difference between the two, in my opinion, lies in presentation and tone. The Eightfold encourages changes which strive towards enlightenment while the Commandments, command. Do good, go to heaven, do bad…well we know where that leads to.
I was baptized a Catholic, attended Jehovah’s Kingdom Hall while a Catholic, later confirmed as an Episcopalian and now meditate as a Buddhist (or attempting – after all I am in the beginning stages). And no, I’m not imitating Pi Patel’s religious dabble from the book but at times it feels as if curiosity fuels the skipping, stumbling and jumping down the spiritual journey path.
- Right View-See things as they are not what you wish them to be
- Right Intention-commitment to ethical behaviour
- Right Speech-abstain from false speech, no lies or deceit, abstain from harsh words or slanderous speech or to speak maliciously against others, abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose of depth
- Right Action-abstain from harming sentient beings,
- Right Livelihood-no dealing in weapons, in human beings (slave trade/prostitution), raising animals for slaughter, working in meat and production and butchery, selling alcohol or drugs
- Right Effort-to prevent unwholesome states
- Right Mindfulness-contemplation of body, contemplation of feeling,
- Right Concentration-meditation
The Ten Commandments
- Do not worship other gods
- Do not worship idols
- Do not misuse God’s name
- Keep the Sabbath holy
- Honour your father and mother
- Do not murder
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not steal
- Do not lie
- Do not covet