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Buddhism Practice and Managing Desires

Updated November 27, 2020
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Buddhism Practice and Managing Desires essay

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Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. Buddha also means “the Awakened one”. Buddhism is a path of spirituality and practice development which leads to nature of reality. Buddhist practices such as meditation and the art of person changing and developing the qualities of kindness, wisdom and awareness. Buddhism is a tradition which has been there from thousands of years and has been an incomparable path for the others who wish to follow. Buddhism does not include any god and thus it is not considered normal by the people. Buddhism is practiced in a very practical and straightforward way. Buddhism is something that all the people can practice irrespective of the race religion, cast, sexuality or gender. It teaches methods of peacefulness and how to be responsible of one’s own life. This essay is a study of how Buddhism is practiced and how Buddhism helps in managing desires (Esposito, 2009).

Buddhist believes that all the living beings have a right to live. Buddhist does not believe in killing animals for food nor can they accept food that has been killed for them. Buddhist monks are not allowed to ask for certain foods. They have to accept whatever is being given to them. The reason for accepting what has been given allows the Buddhist accept charity and helps in overcoming greed. This way Buddhist learns some motivating factors. Firstly the practice of loving and kindness like accepting food from people teaches them to overcome ill- will and the practice of wisdom helps in overcoming delusion (Stephenson, 2010; BBC, 2009)

Buddhist monks have a daily routine which everyone has to follow if practicing Buddhism. The monks wake up at 4:00 am and start with meditating which lasts for an hour followed by chanting. After this at 6:00 am the monks walk barefoot around the neighborhood where local people offer them food. At 8:00 am they all return to the temple sit together and eat food and pray for world peace. After that before 12 noon the monks are allowed to have food which is the last meal of the day until the sunrise. At 1:00pm they attend classes of Buddhist teachings which is followed by a two hour meditation and prayer at 6:00pm. At last the monks retire to do homework at 8:00pm. Also all the people who have to follow Buddhism need to follow certain code of conduct, which includes relation with the opposite sex. Women are not allowed to touch monk. Monk usually ear various colors of robe like brown and saffron as such there are no rules for what they wear.

Buddhism has a lot of branches. While all of them are similar there are few differences between them, the branches of Buddhism are: Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Thai Forest Tradition and Vajrayana Buddhism. There are some core believes of Buddhism firstly are the three truths, Buddhism believes that human existence is a suffering, craving is the reason for suffering and when craving ends suffering end too and that there is a path to follow to end suffering (Stallings & Berry, 2011).

Jealousy and envy are similar kind of emotions which spoils relationships with people. Jealousy is when a person possesses something that he/ she believe or thinks belongs to them. It often comes out in the form of insecurity, sense of betrayal and possessiveness. According to psychology jealousy is a natural emotion but can be destructive if gets out of control (Lederman, & Bjaaland, 2009). Envy is something which you feel when somebody is better than you or is more successful then you. The main reason behind envy is either lack of confidence or due to inferiority complex. Well envy is something which can be linked to greed and desire (Schmidt, 2009). The first step to recover from jealousy and envy is the practice of Mindfulness and Metta.

Mindfulness is a full body and mind awareness (Trevor, 2000). There are two steps of mindfulness, mindfulness of body and mindfulness of feelings which pay full attention to the emotional sensations in body. Buddhism says that when a person goes through such feelings like envy and jealousy they should take full ownership of it. This kind of self-recognition habits helps to release jealousy and envy (News18, 2015).

Metta is a practice of loving kindness, to practice Buddhism one should practice kindness and love for his/ her own self. Deep inside a person can have a feeling of jealousy or insecurity but Metta helps a person to learn to forgiveness and kindness. Metta builds self-trust and confidence in people. After a certain point of time a person is able to practice Metta more easily and people are able to teach other people too even to the one they envy (Avramides, 2018)

According to Buddhism the main root cause of suffering is attachments and desires. There are certain desires that every human being has such as- sexual desires. Buddhist monks learn a practice called Vajrayana tradition which helps them to manage sexual desires (BBC, 2009). Vajrayana tradition helps them to learn to manage the feeling in their nervous system and move it somewhere else. This thing actually allows the monks to bind their powerful desire in the body and to use it for motivation somewhere else in the mind and body, Buddhist says that one should avoid over eating as full stomach causes pressure on the nerves which causes lustful thoughts. Another way of cutting down sexual desires is meditation as meditation helps in diverting mind towards other thing and helps in maintaining a peaceful mind and soul (BBC, 2014).

It is always told to express our anger out but Buddhism strictly disagree to this as according to Buddhism if anger is expressed out it makes easy for people to actually do the same in future. Buddha strongly believes that a person should never bottle up or overflow emotions instead should understand emotions. The 8th century Buddhist shanti deva believes anger to be the most negative energy according to him anger is the thing that can destroy everything (Mcrae, 2010).

First way to do this is Samsara. In this Buddhist say that in every person’ s life there are going to be good times and bad times both, this never ending cycle is called samsara by Buddhist (Bernard, 2009). When people come into this life no one says that life is going to be good and easy to live or life will go as a person plan it to be. It says that samsara is the way to understand one’s own situation and others too. It says that other people do things which we might like that’s because their life is also not so good. Buddhism says that this kind of thinking can change the perspective seeing things.

Buddhism teaches to be a hero that is has patience (Purton, 2017). According to people patience is always seen as weakness, Buddhism says it is easy to simply shout and scream on others while it is actually very difficult have patience so to manage such things Buddhism ask to practice things such as taking deep breathing or count till 100. This prevents people from this they will regret saying on later. Practicing this will eventually leave a positive impact on a person’s mind and help in managing anger. Another important thing which Buddhism believes in is KARMA. It is always said that what goes around comes around. It simply means that even if people are doing bad deeds they will face its consequences sooner or later and anger is not the way to Handel things as karma will see what is right or wrong (Nelson, 2014)

Buddhism says that in order to be a good and a happy person one should have a peaceful mind and soul which can be generated through meditation. It is said that if a person has a positive state of mind it brings more happiness and well-being to them (Anālayo, 2018; Keown, 2000) For meditation one should always find a place to sit alone and comfortably, focus on your breathing and reflect how each breath weights or feels and then close eyes and focus on inner peace and finally let thoughts overflow from mind, don’t try to think anything, blank out the mind and make it wander freely without any direction( Saunders & Basak, 2011).

Buddhism has been there for thousands of years, it does not include god, Buddhism have a certain code of conducts which everyone has to follow if practicing Buddhism. Buddhist has different way of living. They are not allowed to eat everything or wear everything. This essay is about how Buddhism can help in managing desires such as sexual and desire of attachment and how can a person manage things like jealousy, envy and anger and greed. There are certain practices in Buddhism which helps in managing these such as meditation, samsara, Vajrayana and Metta. Buddhism teaches peace of mind and desires. It teaches how one person can leave everything in life and still live life happily and peacefully. Buddhism motivates a person and teaches people to remove things like ill-will, greed and delusion instead believes in things like KARMA and DHARMA. It teaches people to practice love and kindness towards all living beings.

References

  1. Anālayo, B. (2018). Once Again on Mindfulness and Memory in Early Buddhism. Mindfulness, 9(1)
  2. Avramides, A. (2018) Engaging with Buddhism. Journal of Buddhism 57(4)
  3. BBC. (2009). Religions;Buddhism. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml
  4. BBC. (2014). Religions;Buddhism. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/
  5. Bernard, F. (2009) Unmasking Buddhism .West Sussex : Wiley-Blackwell
  6. Esposito, T.(2009). Buddhism. Journal of Buddhism, 18(3)
  7. Keown, D. (2000). Buddhism. london : Oxford University Press
  8. Lederman, E., & Bjaaland, P. (2009). BUDDHISM. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 35(4)
  9. Mcrae, R. (2010). Buddhism. The Journal of Asian Studies, 54(2)
  10. Nelson, J. (2014). An Experimental Approach to Buddhism and Religion. International Journal of Dharma Studies, 5(1)
  11. News18. (2015). 15 teachings of Lord Buddha that will help you live a better life. Retrieved from: https://www.news18.com/news/lifestyle/15-lessons-of-lord-buddha-that-will-help-you-live-a-better-life-1082827.html
  12. Purton, C.(2017). Buddhism, meditation, and ‘the inner world’. Religious, Studies 53(2)
  13. Schmidt, L.(2009). Understanding Buddhism. Edinburgh : Dunedin Academic Press
  14. Stallings, T., & Berry, T. (2011). Buddhism. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 82(1)
  15. Stephenson, A.(2010). BUDDHISM. Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 2(4)
  16. Trevor, L. (2000) Buddhism. London : Ward Lock International
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