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Celebrating Our Sources: Buddhism

Buddhist symbol


From the Unitarian Universalist Associations of Congregations:

The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:

Wisdom from the world’s religions inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life. 


The double wheel of life, also known as the Dharmachakra, the wheel of the law, graces one of our sanctuary hangings. In bright reddish splendor it could be mistaken for a flying pizza as one of our little ones pointed out.   And that’s perfectly appropriate, for the Buddha was said to have quite a sense of humor.  

The wheel, which has eight spokes, represents the Eight-fold path which the Buddha described as the way to a fulfilling life.  Early in his career as a wisdom teacher, the Buddha taught that Life is suffering; that suffering has a cause:  craving and attachment.  Craving and attachment can be overcome. The path toward the cessation of craving and attachment is the Eightfold Path.  

Buddha’s sermons to his followers followed the pattern of dharma talks, and usually dealt with one of these subjects:  Right understanding, Right purpose, Right speech, Right conduct, Right livelihood, Right effort, Right alertness, and Right concentration.  Reading through that list, one can see acting on that advice could lead to a good life.   

And these words – a dharma talk in a few sentences:

“It is proper to doubt. Do not be led by holy scriptures, or by mere logic or inference, or by appearances, or by authority of religious teachers.  But when you realize that something is unwholesome and bad for you, give it up.  And when you realize that something is wholesome and good for you, do it.” 

I close with a beautiful Buddhist benediction:

Be a lamp to yourself.  Be your own confidence. Hold to the truth within yourself, as to the only truth.

By Josephine Leach

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