Roughly two years ago, I had the privilege of accompanying a close friend of mine to a Buddhist temple located, of all places, on a hilltop in Southern California. In retrospect, I suppose that this locale represents a very relevant aspect of Buddhism: as I would learn, this is a faith that stands on very little ceremony. A hilltop near Pasadena is as good a place as any to observe that which penetrates all things.
Buddhism is one of the world's great religions. The religion is based on the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as The Buddha, who lived approximately 557 B.C. to 477 B.C.
The word "Buddha" means a Supremely Enlightened One or Fully Awakened One (also a Tathagata) who has won the realization of the True Permanent Absolute Reality, The Ultimate Truth (unknown, 2, 1997).
Records of Buddha's teachings were compiled almost immediately after the Buddha's death by the thousands of monks the Buddha established during his 45-year ministry. They were committed to writing in 29 B.C. They contain the heart of Buddhist teachings and are recognized by all Buddhist scholars as the oldest in existence.
Siddhartha Gautama was born a prince in a kingdom around what is now the border area between India and Nepal. At the age of 29, desiring to know the path that lead to the ending of all impermanence and anguish, to ensuring his permanent well-being, he renounced everything of the world, becoming a homeless ascetic, vowing to find the way to True Ultimate Reality.
He was a Boddhisattva, which is one who goes through an intense period of development and practice in order to attain the realization of Perfect Wisdom, Total Supreme Enlightenment, Buddhahood.
At the age of 35, by way of total focus of his entire being on this single goal, he accomplished his purpose and attained the realization of Perfect Wisdom. He found the answer that lead to the complete cessation of all impermanence and anguish, that lead ...