shared beliefs and concepts tied back to similar origins out of the Vedic
scriptures and traditions that are foundational for Hinduism (Brahmanism,
Buddhism directs the hearts and minds of its adherents to a liberation from the
burdens, suffering and many limitations of worldly existence. Thus, Buddhism, as a non-theistic tradition,
can be considered to be as much of a philosophical system as it is a religious
tradition. Consider the following
questions drawn from foundational concepts in Buddhism:
1) Is desire (craving) good or bad or, can
desire be either good or bad (Fisher, pp. 143 – 145)? How do desires reveal an individual’s sense
of the “meaning and purpose of life?”
How do you think desires relate to religious ethics in Buddhism (e.g.,
the Noble Eightfold Path, Fisher, pp. 145 - 146)?
2) What causes and solutions can you think
of regarding the problem of human suffering?
Can suffering be entirely avoided in this life? If so, what are some of the steps one might
take to reduce or eliminate suffering in their life?
3) What is enlightenment (Fisher, p. 148 -
149)? How can one obtain
enlightenment? Is enlightenment
attainable in this life?
4) How does the Buddhist concept of sunyata reflect Ultimate Reality
(Fisher, p. 160 - 161)? How do
traditional Theravada and Mahayana branches of Buddhism differ from Pure Land
Buddhism (Fisher, pp. 151 – 161; 166)?