Monday, March 30, 2015

Suffering: The Pink Eraser

Buddhism and Hinduism have many similarities.  They both believe in karma, dharma, they both believe in reincarnation, and that there is an end to the reincarnation cycle - at least for the individual soul.

It's worth noting that even though the religions share these similarities, they don't hold identical beliefs on any... for instance, even though dharma relates to rules and order and teachings, the concept is different between the two religions.

Hinduism and Buddhism are similar much like Islam and Christianity are similar.  They share some concepts, (both Christians and Muslims believe in one God, trace their roots back to Abraham, believe Jesus Christ was a prophet...) but those practicing the religion would not claim they were the same.

One major way Buddhism differs from Hinduism is that Buddhism deals primarily with suffering.  Siddhartha Guatama (the founder of Buddhism) taught that suffering comes from desire.  Buddhism tries to point out how to end suffering.

I think we see this concept played out pretty clearly in children.  How many of us have seen a child throw a fit at the check-out line because they want a candy bar and the parent won't give in?  (In this case, the parent is also suffering, because they want the child to stop throwing a fit...)

I thought about this the other day when my middle daughter Gwen lost her pink eraser.  This was a big deal because it was given to her by one of her best friends at school.  (Maybe her best friend?  ...Kindergarten friendships are sometimes difficult to keep straight.)

Or, here's my youngest daughter.  She's sad because she wants her mommy:

I have a video where I'm crying because I wanted Notre Dame to beat Kentucky, but I've been advised against including it.

In all three cases, people were suffering because they wanted something, and they didn't get it.  What do you think?

If you want the extra credit for reading and discussing the blog with an adult, discuss this with them:  Buddhism teaches that everyone suffers, and that everyone suffers due to desire.  Do you agree?  Why or why not?  Is it possible to end suffering?

When you're done, write a short paragraph about your discussion.  Then, have the adult you discussed with sign the paper.  (Make sure your name, date, and hour are on it.)

Turn it in tomorrow.

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