What It Means to Be a Buddhist
Lama Mark Webber
Secular Buddhism and mindfulness is wildly popular these days and many people seek out meditation to experience less stress, better health, and more happiness. But the Buddha didn’t offer a self-help technique to make ourselves feel better. Buddha Dharma is the teaching of full awakening. It offers a path for training the mind and heart that is motivated not by self cherishing, but by the compassionate and strong desire to liberate oneself and all other beings from mental suffering. In addition to teaching us how to train our minds through meditation, the path of awakening requires us to train in ethical living, to study and uncover the nature of reality, to take wise action based in wise view, and to insightfully serve others. Since this path can be challenging, it can be supportive to explore and understand what it means to “Be a Buddhist”. What does it mean to take refuge in the Three Jewels of the Buddha (awakened mind), the Dharma (teachings of liberation) and the Sangha (wise teachers and mentors who understand the View of an Awake mind)? What are the Precepts that guide our actions and behaviour in the world? What is merit and why must we strengthen our mind and heart and clarify our volitional patterns (karma)? What is the Bodhisattva Vow and how can we cultivate a deeply compassionate intention to guide our body, speech, and mind? In this series of classes, Lama Mark offers teachings and guidance on these and other topics.