Buddhism was founded by a man who had it all – money, power, wealth, a beautiful wife, a child, a family, an inheritance, health, physical strength, political power and a promising future. The legends of his life describe a turning point when he was twenty nine years old. He went out into the city and was confronted, face to face with illness, aging and death. Having had both these experiences, he entered into a deep questioning about what the true causes of happiness and suffering in life really were. He set out from his home and went on a journey of spiritual seeking that changed world history.
Buddhist practice considers the full range of experiences joy and sorrow, loss and gain, happiness and suffering – by examining the source of all experience – our own minds. The nature of success or failure are never defined completely by our circumstances. It always boils down to how we interpret those circumstances, how we react to them, how we make sense of them… this is how we make or break satisfaction. Buddhism is a path of waking up to our own mind.
Here is a video series we made after the last retreat, a seven part series on the Buddha’s fascinating life!
Though the founder of Buddhism was an Indian man also known as Siddhartha Guatama, in Tibetan Buddhism, he is also known as Shakyumuni Buddha based on the clan that he was born in. But he is most well known as the “Buddha,” the awakened one. Buddhism is also named after this sanskrit word, meaning the path of awakening. This awakening is a matter of awakening to original goodness, a natural state of inspired compassion and wakefulness that Buddhism teaches is the nature of every human being. Everyone can be said to have this “Buddha-nature,” and Buddhism is a path of awakening to this fact and developing our connection with that intrinsic wisdom.