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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion


A brief overview of Buddhism

‘When you know from your own lived experience that something is unwholesome, censured by the wise, and leads to harm and suffering, then abandon it. … When you know from your own lived experience that something is wholesome, praised by the wise and leads to well-being and happiness, then live in accordance with it.’ 

The Buddha, in the Kalama Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya 3.65

Buddhism takes many forms in different Buddhist countries, but they all share the same core. It provides a path of practice rather than dogma, to develop our skill and understanding to move away from what causes us unhappiness towards what causes us happiness. At the same time it encourages us to care for others as we do for ourselves, and to see that we are not separate from them. It provides guidelines and techniques to help us in this: a path consisting of caring, mindful action; meditation to calm the mind and open the heart; and ways of investigating to develop wisdom. It also provides teachers and a community to practise with to balance our dependence on our own judgement, which will inevitably be distorted at times.

The Buddha lived in India in the 5th century BCE (before the Christian era), and is venerated as a human being who discovered an ancient path. Buddhism does not require either belief or worship. Instead it gives a central place to developing faith of the heart in the Buddha, representing the awakened mind, present as potential in all of us; the Dharma/Dhamma his teaching, representing the way things are in reality beyond our usual deluded minds; and the Sangha, the community of people supporting each other on the path, especially those with profound understanding. 


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