Master of Buddhism Course

This is a blog for the course comments from the Master of Buddhism course through the Universal Life Church Seminary.
The course can be found at Buddhism Course.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Master of Buddhism – Week Two: Questions and Answers

Master of Buddhism – Week Two

1.      Which of these guidelines do you think is the most important? Why?
         A: I believe the most important guideline of the Buddha's teaching to be the belief that all life is sacred, and that one should not kill. I believe this because of my personal beliefs has always been to protect life, and not to treat it as something to take for granted. I view all living organisms as a miracle of creation, and are be looked at in awe and wonder. All life was put here for a purpose, are sacred,  and therefore should not be killed. I think to take a life is the ultimate act of selfishness.
2.      What is the unifying concept of these guidelines?
         A: I believe the unifying concept to be few core principals, but mainly one of peace, both for oneself, and others. When you refrain from desire, you find peace. When you don't harm others, you create peace, both for yourself and others. When you adhere to the teachings of the Buddha, the result of the actions of these teachings is peace.
3.      What do you think the Buddha would have to say today about "Right Livelihood?" Can you think of any positions in today's workforce that he might use as an activity one should avoid?
         A: I think the Buddha might take issue with any of careers that deal with the pushing of useless products and the other aspects of promoting a hyper-consumerist society like we have nowadays. It seems the demands for society to move and sell more products upon its fellow citizens have in some cases crossed the line of dealing in truth, promoting an alternant view to the "Right view" and are generally wasteful, which harms our environment and goes against the belief of living in excess.
John M. Stephenson

Thursday, January 19, 2012

ULC Buddhism Course

1. Does the story of Siddhartha Guatama, particularly in the years before he became the Buddha, ring true? Is it legend or hearsay? Does it matter?

A: Like most history, I believe the story of Siddhartha in the years before he became the Buddha to be a mixture of some truths and some legend. Since there was no written history of the Buddha from that time, it is most likely legend. However, I don't believe this matters as much as the message he delivers in his teachings of Buddhism, which is really what is the purpose of embracing Buddhism.
2. What does enlightenment mean to you?
A: Peace within oneself, and compassion for all living things. Being enlightened would mean for this to come to oneself as their true nature, without any thought of action or deed.
3. Do you believe that enlightenment is possible? Is there more than one way to be enlightened? If so, what?
A: I believe that enlightenment is possible. As enlightenment is unique to the individual, I believe that each enlightened being had achieved this enlightenment in a different way.
John M. Stephenson