An Introduction to Buddhism
BASICS OF BUDDHISM
The path of Buddhism is toward awakening or realization. The historical Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, lived in ancient India over 2,500 years ago. He awakened to the underlying truths of existence: all things are impermanent, we are all interconnected, suffering arises from our denial of these truths, and liberation is to become one with these truths. To practice Buddhism or to be a Buddhist can have different meanings within the traditions across the world.
Shin Buddhism (also known as Jodo Shinshu or Pureland Buddhism) is a Mahayana non-monastic, family-friendly path that all ages can participate in together. Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), the founder of our tradition, wanted to make Buddhism available to everyone. Instead of framing enlightenment as something that select people can work to attain, Shinran considered it something we all receive. Shin Buddhism arrived in North America in the late 19th century and was initially sustained by Japanese immigrant families.
BUDDHISM IN YOUR LIFE
Following the path of Buddhism is simply living our life in awareness. There is no Buddhism apart from our life, nor is there life apart from Buddhism. Our everyday experience is the vehicle to reflect on and deepen our spirituality, nurturing a Life of Gratitude.
BUDDHISM FOR FAMILIES
You might imagine Buddhism as a meditative practice done in solitude. While self-reflection is part of listening to the teachings, families and friends of all ages come together at Vista Buddhist Temple where Dharma school offers Buddhist teachings for children and teens.