What is Buddhism? And who was Buddha actually? What is meditation and why should I learn to meditate anyway?
At the beginning, everyone who becomes involved with Buddhism and meditation in a serious and intensive way not only has a lot of questions but also gets a lot of different answers – especially in the West. This is because of the wide array of Buddhist traditions and schools that have established themselves in the West in the last decades. The following information is meant to provide you with a short and understandable idea about Buddhism.
Buddhism – On the Path to Freedom
Are you interested in “personally encountering the Buddha” and following the spiritual path described by him? If you are, then there are a few things you should know before you begin your journey. Buddhism is primarily a path on which you study, get to know, and train your own mind. It is a spiritual and not a religious path. The goal is self-knowledge rather than salvation, and freedom from suffering rather than a heavenly kingdom. Buddha’s path is based on rational thinking and analysis and on contemplation and meditation, the goal being to transform mere knowledge “about things” into knowledge that transcends ordinary understanding. What is needed for this is genuine curiosity and a thirst for knowledge.
Meditation – Getting to Know Your Own Mind
Practising meditation is essentially a way of getting to know ourselves better through familiarizing ourselves with our own minds. From the Buddhist point of view, the human mind is already awake and liberated. Its nature is compassionate and fully present. No matter what kind of meditation we practice, all of them are aimed at increasing our mindfulness and presence, facilitating inner peace, and enabling us to deal with our emotions in a healthy way.