Title: The Essence of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its Philosophy and Practice
Author(s): Traleg Kyabgon
Science has studied the human Brain deeply – yet it still does not formally regonize mind and consciousness. One reason for this is that those (mostly spiritual Gurus) who talk of “mind and consciousness”, usually do it in extremely mystical ways and, often, with seemingly crazy rituals.
Buddha brought a lot of “sense” and “clarity” to the spiritual process – fundamentally, the process of perceiving reality and experiencing ourselves and the world around us. He suggested “The Middle Way” – indicating that spiritual and religious doctrines need to let go of their extreme positions. He did not talk about any entity called “God” – thus, he introduced an element of rationality in the spiritual process.
“A mind that is stable but without clarity is deficient. Both mental clarity as well as stability have to be present. If we pursue this, then even when thoughts and emotions arise, the stability and clarity of the mind are not disturbed.”
“Self” is another entity where Science is silent. Buddhism offers an interesting (but debatable) view:
What we regard as the self, which we think is unchanging and immutable, in fact is always in process.
That could be seen as a good thing.
Real transformation of the self can take place because the self is not some kind of immutable, unchanging entity.
All kinds of delusions and obscurations of the mind arise with this misconception, which in turn inhibit us from experiencing and perceiving reality.
Buddhism does not promote the idea of abandoning all desires altogether. What Buddhism encourages is the idea that all forms of craving, grasping and clinging, which are exaggerated forms of desire, have to be abandoned, because they ultimately cause suffering and unhappiness.
Unhappy with something in life? Check, what are you STILL craving for OR still clinging to?
For the more materially inclined, as most of us know, renouncing our fears and unnecessary desires actually makes to us stronger and more capable to achieve bigger goals.
For the more spirituality inclined, Buddhism offers a roadmap to enlightenment – beginning with seven limbs – mindfulness, awareness, discriminating, wisdom, effort, joy, concentration, and equanimity.
Ready for Buddhahood? Good Luck!