Buddhist Instruction
Buddhist Teachings of Fundamental Buddhism via Question and Answer based on the Pali Canon recognized by Buddhist scholars as the oldest record of what the Buddha taught.

Last Updated: August 29, 2011

Before reviewing, be sure to first read our Buddhist Instruction Ministry's brief explicit explanation of Fundamental Buddhism: Summary   Also note that the instruction in this website is focused on the message of the English translations of the Pali Canon ONLY, not other Buddhist sects, not other religions, and not anything else related to Buddhist history or mythology.

There are to date, 67 questions and answers.

Please Note the Following

Most of the e-mail questions we received over the years do have the answers already listed either in the summary or within the FAQS questions and answers noted below.  You should consider reading the summary and this FAQs page twice for best understanding. We are no longer taking any questions as no new ones have been received for several years.

Our group's qualifications to teach are over 20 years of study of Buddhism, including both the 12,800 pages of the Pali Text Society English translations of the Buddha's discourses, recognized by Buddhist scholars as the oldest surviving written record of what the Buddha actually said and taught, plus over a thousand additional books and essays on Buddhism, some almost as old as the Pali Canon.  All told, an estimated 60,000,000 words.

Our organization no longer answers any e-mails. For past ones, we posted relevant questions with answers here.  This enables other readers to benefit from the questions and answers.  Questions posted here will have sender’s name removed and text may be edited. Likewise, we reserve the right to re-edit question and answer text from time to time to improve our group's teaching effectiveness.

Only a Tathagata (a supremely enlightened Buddha) can teach perfectly.   There is no one here like that, nor do we believe anywhere in the world at this time.  We can only share our understanding to the best of our capabilities and knowledge based on our extensive study and interpretation of the Buddha's teachings.  Not all questions will be answered; many we cannot answer.  And you should understand that each answer, while not explicitly stated, actually begins with, "In our opinion, based on our insight and study of fundamental Buddhism, ....."

Please note, that while much of the text for our summary and these FAQs is extracted from the English translations of the Pali Canon published by the Pali Text Society, neither our summary of Fundamental Buddhism nor these answers to questions are substitutes for your investing in the recommended copies of the Pali Text Society translated discourses of the Buddha, noted in the Summary, which are themselves THE most effective teacher.  Sources where you can obtain copies of the Pali Canon English translations by the Pali Text Society are noted in the Summary plus in the first category on Buddhism Links.  These oldest available  translations are simply the best available teaching source available, in our opinion.

Note that we do NOT sell these books nor anything else.

Also note that we no longer offer retreats.  We now teach only on the Internet through the content of this website.  

If you want to know more about our Buddhist Instruction Ministry, click here.

Without modifying our FAQs questions and answers, anyone has the right to

copy, e-mail, print, duplicate and distribute our FAQs below.


Table of Contents

FAQ00001
What is the bottom-line meaning of the Buddha's teaching?

FAQ00002
Does one have to be a monk to win Nirvana?  Or be a vegetarian?

FAQ00003
Why are there so many versions of Buddhism?

FAQ00004
How do you know which version of Buddhism to accept, even which religion?

FAQ00005
How do I know Buddhism and this interpretation is for me?

FAQ00006
Do I need a local teacher?

FAQ00007
Is Buddhism technically a religion or a philosophy?

FAQ00008
If one had a soul, would it not be at risk in following Buddhism?

FAQ00009
Why does Buddhism stress so much the suffering and anguish, overlooking the happiness in life?

FAQ00010
What is Fundamental Buddhism's position, and your organization's position, with respect to abortion, capital punishment and (you fill in the blank)?

FAQ00011
What is the common link between Fundamental Buddhism and Western Religions and is there a possible essence common to each?

FAQ00012
Is it better to delay winning the goal in order to help other beings win Nirvana or is it better to win Nirvana as fast as possible?

FAQ00013
Is tantrism a form of Buddhism and what role does it play in Fundamental Buddhism?

FAQ00014
What role do deities and gods play in Fundamental Buddhism?

FAQ00015
Can you describe Nirvana in more detail?

FAQ00016
Is there a formal process for becoming a Buddhist?

FAQ00017
Who am I?

FAQ00018
Historically, circulation of scripture has not been the primary method for achieving enlightenment. It has been transferred from a teacher to a student. Are you trying to make a break from this tradition? Not to put to fine a point on it, but it seems that intensive scriptural study may be a means to privileged Western rationality over Eastern (and Buddhist) methods possibly to the detriment of our understanding.

FAQ00019
Are there any fundamentalist Buddhist celebrations/observances at this time of year (Christmas) or is it OK to make my own and decide on a particular day and method to honor the Buddha?

FAQ00020
Would a true teacher "point directly" and not speak of belief? How do you distinguish a teacher of the "true dharma eye" from a charlatan? How do you distinguish true teachings from false teachings? Is it harmful to one's practice to seek advice from an unenlightened teacher?

FAQ00021
How does the Buddha describe the way to awakening to the ultimate truth?

FAQ00022
First, how important is meditation? And secondly, could you give a detailed, step-by-step 'instruction' for meditation?

FAQ00023
Who reaches nirvana and parinirvana if there is no self?

FAQ00024
What similarities exist between Buddhism and (fill in the religion of your choice), particularly regarding the roots of each religion?

FAQ00025
Are you enlightened?

FAQ00026
I doubt that your view would be endorsed by many Pali Scholars or Theravada Groups.

FAQ00027
How does Buddhism view death and what are the rituals and beliefs surrounding death?

FAQ00028
I just returned from my first-ever "service" (what should it be called?) at the local  Dharma Center.   90% of it was chanting in a language that is not English.  Generally each prayer, mantra, etc. was presented in hieroglyphs, a Western alphabet version of the native words (sometimes claimed to be a phonetic transcription), and an English translation.  Not only could I not participate, but I felt quite (unnecessarily, it seems to me)  overwhelmed by confusion. And I had a most disconcerting thought that I might never find  the services to be supporting, encouraging, and enlightening, because I might never  understand what I was praying or praising -- and, even worse, I might find the ordeal counterproductive to my Dharma practice. My question, at last: Is Dharma practice  everywhere outside of the traditionally Buddhist countries conducted in one of the  traditionally Buddhist languages? And, if so, why?

FAQ00029
Can you be a Buddhist and only agree with SOME of his teachings?  Is it okay if you don't?  Can you be a Buddhist and not follow one or two of the 8 parts of the Eightfold Noble Path?  And if you do not follow one or two of them, are you considered bad?

FAQ00030
What role do women play in Buddhist societies?

FAQ00031
Yes, but isn't (____ fill in the blank with the thing, concept or view of your choice)
worth clinging to?

FAQ00032
Once Nirvana is attained, you stated you believe that person becomes a part of God...True Reality.  Is it possible then for that being to be reincarnated as a Buddha into this earth plane reality?

FAQ00033
Other then Siddhartha Gautama... has anybody else reached FULL ENLIGHTENMENT?

FAQ00034
I can't seem to find information on the origin of this cycle of suffering, birth, death, etc.  How did this delusion/confusion begin?  Why are there conditioned states of fabricated existence?

FAQ00035
I am doing a school report and could you also provide me (fill in the blank)?

FAQ00036
May I post a link to your website?

FAQ00037
I know that you cannot answer me through email form so I will check periodically at this website for the answers. My questions are:

1.) It becomes uncomfortable after a period to sit in this cross-legged manner.   Is it supposed to?

2.) Can you explain basically what are the steps (what I should experience on the path) leading to Nirvana?  So I will know that I am progressing.

I want to tell you that I have been seeking for some time now for what I have found on your website.  I know that this is the right path.  Your teaching has brought me into a new world.  I purchased the "Middle Length Sayings" and read anywhere from two to six suttas a day.  I meditate everyday.   have only talked with one person about Buddhism. One day a man (stranger) walked up to while I was at work and told me, "You are a man that stands for uprightness, you believe in that which is upright."  He walked off and I have never seen this man again.   It stunned me.  That kind of thing does not happen to me.  I don’t believe that the Buddha taught that these types of strange things will happen to you so I don’t know how to take it.  I know you probably receive lots of email but I just wanted to share this with you.  Thanks

FAQ00038
I realize back in the old days people who practiced Buddhism would go live in a monastery and they could live in peace forever there.  However nowadays, especially in the West, it is nearly impossible to live without a need for financial aid.  How is one, who wishes to de-tangle themselves from the impermanence of society, to live when he/she depends so much on it?  For shelter, food and lavatorial needs?  Simple questions that would render a laugh, but it's a question that I have before I decide what I must do.  Sure, I can drop all the material needs but can I survive physically without certain ones?  Mentally I would be better off, but there must be a balance of both -- no?

FAQ00039
Dear Sir, After having read a number of answers to posted questions, it has been noticed that there is a great deal of me, mine, and myself at work in these answers, i.e. the first fetter. For example, here is one from many.   "And then after that, one must observe if the benefits of what is promised are self-realized."  While it may prove expedient to use such language, the formation of the answers is misleading.  Furthermore, as was indicated in the introduction, "only a Tathagata can teach perfectly" which is to say that a Tathagata is the only one having the Wisdom to not unknowingly lead another down false paths.

In every instance of 'our opinion' there is indicated a statement of not knowing, but an attempted answer based on 'our qualifications'.  Long years of studying texts are not necessarily sufficient to cultivate adequate skills, much less the enlightenment factors needed to assist one in a profitable direction.

Furthermore, there is every indication to be had from the language that the five  hindrances and the fetters are completely functional and in consequence, the entire page is serving only to feed the samsaric process.  All of this is precisely what is meant by wrong speech and of the three roots, confusion.  Truly, it is sometimes more beneficial to remain silent.  Finally, a helpful litmus to verify the accuracy of these statements is to look at the internal arising of either anger or conceit when reading this email. If either or both of these states are present, the experiential level has given an accurate read as to the underlying intentions involved in posting this site.

FAQ00040
I was really pleased to come across your site as I have often wondered what the Buddha actually taught.

I have read through your summary and have the following questions.  I would really appreciate your help with understanding these sections.  Please excuse my mis-understandings.

It seems to me that so many mis-understandings are caused through the English language as the meanings of the words are not always precise.  According to your summary:

Buddhism is THE PATH OF ESCAPE for those seeking the permanent end here and now of all anguish.

I presume that this escape is to a place where there is no anguish (Nirvana).

...for those who have come to see that what has been CREATED is IMPERMANENT;

Q. Isn’t this a contradiction?

To escape from the IMPERMANENCE of what has been CREATED to....what?   Surely it is an escape to something which has been created (call that state Nirvana if you wish), and therefore is , according to the above, impermanent?  By implication of the previous statements such a state cannot be either an escape, or an escape from anguish.

In all honesty, I do not think contradictions exist - check a premise and you’ll find one is wrong. SO: either creation is NOT impermanent (for there would be nothing to escape to) or there is NO escape from that which has been created - which IS impermanence.

(Of course all of the above begs the question - ‘created’ by whom or what? what is the Buddhist answer to this?)  Of course, all of the above puts the following statement into question: whatever is impermanent is inherently ILL.    The implicit contradiction here is, of course, obvious.

Either there IS a path of escape to a place/state where there is an end of anguish.  If so, this place/state (Nirvana) MUST have been ‘created’ (mentally artificially or in True Absolute Reality) - and as the Buddha said, what has been created is impermanent, and whatever is impermanent is inherently ILL

OR

there IS NO escape from that which has been created which is impermanent and an inherently impermanent creation cannot be ILL - it is what it is.

Q.Which is it?

The final passage I am struggling with is:

The aim of living the path...is Nirvana...True Reality realized.  The Uncreated, the Unborn...

I assume from this that you are saying that which has been created which has been born can reach the (mental?) state of that which has not been created or not been born.  I am born - I am created - yet the Buddha in this passage would have me remain as what I am yet become what I am not.

Q. Isn’t this the same as expecting a piece of wood to become a piece of metal whilst at the same time remaining as a piece of wood?

Thank you for your time.  Your assistance with my problems is appreciated - as I am unable to dedicate myself to living the path of the doctrine of the Buddha on the basis of a contradiction - or on the belief that what appears prima facie to be a contradiction is in fact not a contradiction.

FAQ00041
Sometimes I am confused.  I don't feel very sad when my grandmother passed away because, to me, when some one is born, he will die one day.  It is just a matter of time.  There is no point to be attached to our body.  When my father got cancer and complained of his illness to me, I just asked him to accept it as it was.  But, I was scolded for being indifferent and not caring for him. But, I feel sickness and death are parts of our lives.  Why must we be affected by them?  Just take them as they are ... no pain... no gain.. and no loss..no worries.. and no self.  But when I achieve that, I was being scolded for not caring for someone whom I am suppose to love.

Am I at the right path?  Or am I human?  Or am I just trying to be indifferent?

FAQ00042
How long does it take to win Nirvana, the Deathless?

FAQ00043
What's the short answer to winning the Deathless?

FAQ00044
Is there a faster way to understanding and winning the Deathless?

FAQ00045
Why don't you have an image or two on your website, as do other Buddhist websites, that might inspire someone to take Buddhism seriously?

FAQ00046
When one wants to awake from a nightmare, sometimes something simple can enable one to realize everything is but a dream and to end the dream one simply needs to awaken.  Can you suggest something that provides such insight to awakening?

FAQ00047
To my understanding, Buddhism is about ending all suffering and reaching Nirvana.  In the teachings of the Buddha, suffering is caused by desire, and one can only reach Nirvana when all suffering (desire) is ended.  But is it not a desire to want to end all desires?  I don't comprehend how the more or less point of Buddhism is to end all suffering and desires, while the entire philosophy/religion is based on one main desire: to reach Nirvana and end all suffering.  Please explain this.

FAQ00048
Is there a way to super-accelerate the realization of the ultimate truth?

FAQ00049
When you win Nirvana, what happens next?

FAQ00050
What is the meaning of life?

FAQ00051
Why is your website so negative about the world?

FAQ00052
How can someone who is not particularly intelligent benefit from the doctrine of the Buddha.  I have the feeling that if we want to understand it and to reach Nirvana, there is a minimum level of intelligence and ability to assimilate abstract notions necessary.  Is this truly so or are there different versions or approaches according to the intellectual level of the recipient?

FAQ00053
Having read most of the recommended Pali Canon English translations suggested on your website, I notice that the counter to the winning of the bliss of Nirvana, the state of the undying, the unconditioned, is that of a dark foreboding nature of what has been created, the conditioned, a state of evil, of belonging to evil, which is communicated in quite a large number of discourses.  What is your sense of this?

FAQ00054
After doing some research on Buddhism as I have been curious for sometime about the religion, I have been intrigued and enthused. However upon reading through your site I feel that your beliefs on Buddhism and its ultimate meanings are quite bitter and seem almost resentful towards non-believers and those uneducated about the religion. Also, I have found most of your answers to questions posted on your site to be quite repetitive and most of all the seem to avoid the true meanings of the questions, which are quite obvious, by twisting the words around and having short, unenlightening answers such as "No".  More interestingly, I found the answer to the request for pictures to be used on this site to be contradictory. I mean by this that you have stated many times that there is no idea of bad or evil in Buddhism yet in answering that question by posting the picture of the conjoined twins and in how your replied I feel you most definitely expressed the basic idea that 'bad' people are reborn with such disfigurements and handicaps.  How can such a belief exist when there is the belief that there is no bad?  I may have misinterpreted the question and answer but never the less I feel some of your views are extreme variations of the true teachings of Buddha and that they are too focused negatives.  Also as a side note, specifically what changes are people expected to make to their every day lifestyles to abide by the ideas that everything is not permanent and that there is no self?  I would be very interested to hear your feedback to my comments.

FAQ00055
Many Buddhists silently repeat a mantra over and over to themselves as an aid.  What is the best mantra you would recommend?

FAQ00056
Based on this website's interpretation of Buddhism, what then is the thing worth struggling for?

FAQ00057
I cannot understand why you cannot rejoice and celebrate life.

FAQ00058
Regarding the question presented in FAQ00040, "Isn't this a contradiction?".  Is it possible that the confusion on the part of the questioner is based merely on the assumption that Nirvana is indeed a "place" or "created state".  It is my understanding that Nirvana is "The Uncreated" "The Deathless" "The Unborn." Therefore "a being" does not arrive "there" at all as there is no "there" and nothing and nowhere to leave and nothing and nowhere to arrive.  Indeed, There is no being at all!

I did not see this in your answer and noticed that you acknowledged the  contradiction. Perhaps this is oversimplifying the issue or perhaps my thinking is incorrect.

FAQ00059
Ignorance sustains conditioned states; wisdom ends conditioned states.  Could you elaborate more on this?

FAQ00060
I notice that more movie films seem to be influenced by Pali Canon Buddhist teachings, such as the Matrix Trilogy.

FAQ00061
So fundamentally, the Buddha taught that literally everything is but a make-believe puppet show of fiction that has reached a point where all of it needs to finally be abandoned by each Being, thereby enabling each to realize the Deathless that is ITSELF the only true reality.  Is this basically correct?

FAQ00062
Please don't be offended but-

My suggestion to you is to re-write the entire website and FAQ and remove any caps locks, italics, and bold formatting.

I think you should also re-structure the vast majority of the sentences in the FAQ.

With all of the caps, bold, and strangely formed sentences you really come off sounding like a tent-revival fundamentalist Christian. I think this frightens off a lot of people right off the bat! It makes it look like you have a selfish agenda to "convert" people to the "true way"!

I realize it would be quite a project and I am sure the FAQ and website have taken shape over the years but I truly feel a re-write is in order.

Just my opinion!

FAQ00063
It seems that one really cannot be involved with "the world" and at the same time hope to win the Deathless.

FAQ00064
You should just see the good of the world and just focus on making the world a better place.

FAQ00065
Most people just want to get to heaven.  What does the Buddha say you need to do to obtain this?  And what would it take to achieve a rebirth as one of those Beings that is even HIGHER than an Angel or Deva as noted in the Pali Canon?

FAQ00066
Are there any other shortcuts to realizing the Deathless?

FAQ00067
What is the common link between Fundamental Buddhism and Science and has science reached a point there is a possible essence common to each?

 



FAQ00001
What is the bottom-line meaning of the Buddha's teaching?

The unconditioned state alone is real, permanent, changeless, deathless -- permanent reality in and of "ITSELF"

There is no "OTHER" of anything whatsoever, never has been, never will be.

Conditioned states are just make-believe fiction, self-delusions, self-fantasies.   They arise, they last awhile and then they finally dissolve away.  They are complex, vast, with many perspectives, multiple points of view.

And they do not exist in truth nor anything about them or within them.

These conditioned states that arise, which are subject to change, and are impermanent, are always states of ill-being, not well-being.

And by conditioned states inherently being ill, then by perfect intuitive wisdom, when the self of each fictional "being" or life form ultimately reaches a point of dissatisfaction within a current round of becoming, playing make-believe, then the truth and the way things truly are is then realized, "This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self."

And with that ultimate self-enlightenment and self-awakening, ends all attachment to everything, for what is there to cling to when nothing exists in truth, and thus there is then an end to all anguish, and from there that self of that "being" then just abides in the peace of that perfect intuitive wisdom, simply awaiting the final appointed hour, where what never existed in truth to begin with comes to closure and ceases to be.

And where does "self" go when there is NO self within what is conditioned to begin with?

Read again the first line, again and again and again, and then reflect, reflect, reflect, until you get it.

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FAQ00002
Does one have to be a monk to win Nirvana?  Or be a vegetarian?

Based on our interpretation of the Pali Canon, we believe one does NOT have to be a monk to win Nirvana.  Remember, the goal is Nirvana, winning the Deathless, the Undying, the Unborn, the Unaging, the Unsuffering, the Unsorrowing.  The goal is not to be a monk or a vegetarian.  Becoming a monk might help accelerate the process, but destroying the fetters that bind is not dependent upon being a monk.

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FAQ00003
Why are there so many versions of Buddhism?

Within that which is delusion, impermanent, without essence, always changing, nothing is permanent, not even a religion.  Doors are opened, and doors close.  We believe that after 2,500 years, language iterations, interpretations, add-ons and mythology, the arising of different versions was inevitable.

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FAQ00004
How do you know which version of Buddhism to accept, even which religion?

Based on our interpretation of the Pali Canon, discerning the truth from the incorrect is up to the self of each of us.  All teachings must be weighed up, analyzed, tested and reflected upon.  What is to be accepted and followed is only determined when the self knows a teaching is to be good versus not good, wise versus foolish, right versus wrong.  And then after that, one must observe if the benefits of what is promised are self-realized.

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FAQ00005
How do I know Buddhism and this interpretation is for me?

Are you sick of all the mental anguish?  The despair?  The tribulation?  If you are, then perhaps Buddhism and this interpretation can show you a means of permanently ending all anguish, right here and right now.  But in the end, each must make his or her own decision.

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FAQ00006
Do I need a local teacher?

You can look for one.  However, based on our interpretation of the Pali Canon, we believe that the best teacher is the Buddha's discourses themselves.  We believe, despite 2,500 years and at least two language iterations plus the problems with interpretation and translation, the essence of the Buddha's teaching is still discernable within the Pali Text Society English translations.  We suggest that the best approach is to obtain the recommended Pali Canon translations, find a secluded place to be by yourself, read and study them, and then reflect, meditate and concentrate.  Individual effort is what is needed.

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FAQ00007
Is Buddhism technically a religion or a philosophy?

We believe that for those who observe and follow the ceremonies of Buddhism, then it is a religion.  For those who observe and follow the morality of Buddhism, then it is a philosophy of life.  For those who complete the task and win the goal of the Deathless, then Buddhism is more technically a mechanism that serves the purpose of a mirror where the real is discerned from the unreal, where reality is discerned from delusion, where the costume of fictitious existences is discerned as impermanent, inherently a state of ill-being, selfless and without essence, concluding that every iota of everything is not mine, not I, not my self.  And thus, when there is no longer any attachment to anything, nor clinging nor craving, then all anguish and rebirth cease and the incomparable peace of mind and freedom of mind through Perfect Intuitive Wisdom is won and abided in and one simply awaits the appointed final hour, knowing that for this point of view there is no longer any more becoming nor being such and such again. And what has arisen, this creation of fiction, shrinks by another "part" that has come to closure.

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FAQ00008
If one had a soul, would it not be at risk in following Buddhism?

We believe the following:

First: Fundamental Buddhism does not advocate following Buddhism or any aspect of Buddhism until you have investigated, weighed up, analyzed and tested each part and then only follow it upon reflection where the self of you decides it is worthy of following.

Second: Fundamental Buddhism states that you can follow any religion you want and does NOT state that you or your soul will be eternally damned if you do not follow it.

Third: Fundamental Buddhism in its Eightfold Noble Path advocates loving kindness, compassion and doing no evil or harm to other beings.  It does NOT preach intolerance and hatred nor does it condone doing evil and harm to other beings of any type.

Four: Fundamental Buddhism states that all conditioned "make believe" states of existence emanate from Absolute Reality itself, God itself if your prefer, or Brahman as noted in the Vedas.  The unconditioned state that is the real, the excellent, the highest bliss, and that which is permanent.  If this is the case, then there is no soul that is at risk.

Compare the above with some other religions and their preachers that preach intolerance and hatred, that condone harming other beings, and that advocate that if they and THEIR religion are not followed, usually in blind faith, then you and your soul will be eternally damned.  Does this intuitively feel right?

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FAQ00009
Why does Buddhism stress so much the suffering and anguish, overlooking the happiness in life?

We believe that Fundamental Buddhism acknowledges the happiness as well as the unhappiness in life.  One can clearly see a few Beings in the world that have heavenly lives with mostly happiness and one can clearly see lots more Beings in the world that have hellish lives with mostly unhappiness.  Happiness and Unhappiness are the inherent duality of conditioned states of existence.  Light and Dark, Up and Down, Heaven and Hell, Happiness and Unhappiness, the Pleasures that arise from the senses and the Perils and Pains that arise from the senses.  They all go hand in hand with one another, this duality, and each one defines the other, its opposite.  But all are constructed elements.  And the inherent ill of conditioned states lies in the objects of happiness.

All objects of desire and attachment that cause happiness are impermanent and being impermanent are subject to decay, change, becoming otherwise, disintegrating.  When this happens, then those objects of desire and attachment become sources of anguish, sorrow, unhappiness.  We believe that this understanding of the way things are in make-believe conditioned states is what Fundamental Buddhism is stressing, this inherent ill, and if the self of you has grown tired of it all, then the path of escape to freedom from ill, to freedom from what has been created, is what Fundamental Buddhism is all about.  There is a higher bliss than any happiness that is to be found in what has been created and that bliss is absolute reality in and of itself.  We believe that this is the highest.

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FAQ00010
What is Fundamental Buddhism's position, and your organization's position, with respect to abortion, capital punishment and (you fill in the blank)?

For one who follows fundamental Buddhism, we believe a point is reached where one puts away the fetters of liking and disliking, and their extremes of lust and hatred.  Such a one leaves behind the passions of the world, striving with focus instead to win as quickly as possible just the goal of Nirvana.  When one sees things the way the truly are, such a one no longer passes judgment on people and the deeds they do or do not do.  To use an analogy, when one is dreaming and the dream has decayed into a nightmare, and one wants to escape the dissatisfaction of the dream, one does not focus on continuing to participate in the dream or changing or fixing any of the content of the nightmare.  

The correct path of escape is just to awaken from the dream.  We believe that the goal of Buddhism is likewise, to awaken from the state of delusion. And when the intellection ceases, its elements no longer find any footing for continued existence, just as the elements of a dream.  Fundamental Buddhism is about teaching the essence of the Buddha's teachings, about teaching what is anguish and what is the path to permanently ending anguish.  That is only what we do here.

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FAQ00011
What is the common link between Fundamental Buddhism and Western Religions and is there a possible essence common to each?

We believe that the common link is morality where most state that doing evil either in thought, speech or action is wrong and leads to negative consequences.

We believe that the common essence is this:

Western religions believe in God.  God created everything.  If you then take the premise that before God created everything there was just God, then perhaps there is just God, even right now.  That would make God not an entity but rather absolute changeless reality itself and everything else just a delusion, make-believe fiction.  Then take the premise that all that is ever created is impermanent, subject to ending in dissolution.  Accepting these two premises as the truth, then there is a common essence with Fundamental Buddhism, as follows:

absolute changeless reality itself alone is
all else has always been, is, and always will be just make-believe fiction
a delusion worn like a costume with multiple viewpoints

things are created
they are inherently subject to decay
and then finally, they are dissolved again

(and now, say the following to yourself)

all that is created is impermanent, without substance, inherently a state of ill-being
and it is not fitting to say that which is ill that am I, that is mine, that is my self

do I understand?

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FAQ00012
Is it better to delay winning the goal in order to help other beings win Nirvana or is it better to win Nirvana as fast as possible?

We believe many Buddhist scholars date the Pali Canon texts as being around 500 to 250 years older than Tibetan Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism sects respectively, which hold to the notion of delaying the winning of the goal and instead staying within the delusion as an ongoing Bodhisattva, helping others versus yourself.

However, based on the older Pali Canon, we believe that you should concentrate solely on YOUR winning the goal, but as a consequence of traveling the path of Buddhism, as a duty you do share what you know and believe with others, thus helping them.  However, you cannot expect to have the skillful means to pull another out of the muck if you are still stuck in the muck.  Thus, first and foremost, you first must win Nirvana, Buddhahood, Arahantship, the Deathless.  Then, only after having won the goal, do you truly have the skillful means to help another win the goal, right now.

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FAQ00013
Is Tantrism a form of Buddhism and what role does it play in Fundamental Buddhism?

We believe that Tantrism belongs to Tibetan Buddhism sects and we believe that it plays no part in Fundamental Buddhism

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FAQ00014
What role do deities and gods play in Fundamental Buddhism?

We believe that deities and gods play no role in Fundamental Buddhism.

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FAQ00015
Can you describe Nirvana in more detail?

No.  We believe that it cannot be communicated to another but can only be self-realized by the self of each being.  Per the Pali Canon discourses, we believe that there are stages one progresses through, beginning with destroying the first three fetters and winning the level of Stream-Winner, and as each stage is achieved the fruits of that stage are self-realized, which is an increasing self-realization of Nirvana, absolute changeless reality itself.

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FAQ00016
Is there a formal process for becoming a Buddhist?

Within many sects there is a formal process, beginning with making a basic statement, "I take my refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha."  If one is joining a Buddhist monastic order, there is usually a much more formal process.  Within Fundamental Buddhism, however, we believe, since there is no central authority nor central organization in Buddhism, that one need do no more than merely state to oneself the following:

  1. I now follow the Buddha, believing this Being was supremely enlightened, was one who won the ultimate truth, was one who knew and saw, was one who is worthy of following and who can effectively guide others to Nirvana, to the Deathless.
  2. I now follow the Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha and what is the truth, believing this is the correct path for ending anguish and impermanence, to winning Nirvana, the Deathless.
  3. I now follow the Sangha, the community of Beings who are traveling this same path, who are all flowing to Nirvana, the Deathless, who will end in Nirvana, the Deathless, and who along the way, teach and help one another within their capabilities.
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FAQ00017
Who am I?

No, answering to yourself instead " Where am I? " is the question that provides the insight.

And remember to first say to yourself:
all that is created is impermanent, without substance, inherently a state of ill-being
and it is not fitting to say that which is ill that am I, that is mine, that is my self

And if every iota of everything is impermanent and not my self, then where is my self?

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FAQ00018
Historically, circulation of scripture has not been the primary method for achieving enlightenment.  It has been transferred from a teacher to a student. Are you trying to make a break from this tradition?  Not to put to fine a point on it, but it seems that intensive scriptural study may be a means to privileged Western rationality over Eastern (and Buddhist) methods possibly to the detriment of our understanding.

The Pali Canon discourses and our overall feel for what was being taught was that the discourses for future generations were of and to themselves to be "THE teacher" for those seeking a way out of anguish, a way to realize the ultimate truth, a way to learn what the Buddha taught.  And future teaching individuals were a means to communicate the content of those discourses but were not to be followed blindly.  The goal is NOT to follow someone now living but to realize Nirvana.  Those who now teach thus extract from those discourses, and provide interpretations to assist others in understanding; but those people who are serious followers, go to the source, those discourses, learn from them, and then individually, each must put those teachings into practice -- namely, destroy the fetters that bind one to the delusion and realize the Deathless.  Yes, we do not follow tradition.  But, for those who want a person-to-person teacher, by all means, explore additional help to get you to the goal.  Our teaching efforts is just one source -- it is up to each individual to determine what is to be valued and what is not to be valued, and seek guidance where they see fit.  This is why we personally did not rely solely on the Pali Canon nor any single teacher teaching in-person or any single dissertation by former teachers whose thoughts were retained for future generations via their books and essays.

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FAQ00019
Are there any fundamentalist Buddhist celebrations/observances at this time of year (Christmas) or is it OK to make my own and decide on a particular day and method to honor the Buddha?

There are lots of sects that have lots of rituals, celebrations and observances now.   You can pick one of these as you elect.  Or make your own.  It is our belief, however, that winning THE goal is the only goal, is the only activity, this striving, that should take precedence over all else.  As we read the Pali Canon translations, ritual and ceremonies played little part in winning Nirvana for those striving and winning it at that time.

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FAQ00020
Would a true teacher "point directly" and not speak of belief?  How do you distinguish a teacher of the "true dharma eye" from a charlatan?  How do you distinguish true teachings from false teachings?  Is it harmful to one's practice to seek advice from an unenlightened teacher?

Your work to distinguish the true from the false is your responsibility.  Even in the Buddha's day, as we interpret the Pali Canon, one could NOT easily discern that the Buddha, a Tathagata, was the highest Being in all that has been created.  Nor was it easy to discern that his teachings were the true path to the ultimate truth.  All wise reasoning "beings" know how easy it is to fool the senses and thus one could not depend on either appearances nor the use of power in demonstrating control over the elements, doing such things as magic and miracles.  Not 2,500 years ago, and no less today.  Then how do you discern the true from the false?  You may indeed have to look at many teachers and preachers and ALL their teachings and then analyze, weigh up, test and reflect on every word, every sentence, every paragraph said PLUS every action done, which includes the origin of those teachings, the original teacher, which current preachers and teachers are preaching, teaching and promoting.

Based on this approach, communicated by the Buddha that even he and his teachings were NOT to be taken at face value, we too traveled the same path, which included studying not just the Pali Canon lengthy translations but a total of maybe 60,000,000 written words from LOTS of religious sources, new, old and very old, covering all the major world religions.  Here are a few things (and just a few) we believe are true that lead us to our conclusion to choose Buddhism as the right religion, Buddha as the true teacher, and the Pali Canon as the best surviving teaching source:

Does the preacher/teacher demonstrate and teach anger, hatred, intolerance or greed?  The Buddha demonstrates and teaches only loving kindness and compassion. Which type of teacher would a fool pick?  Which type of teacher would someone who is full of hatred and greed pick?  Which would a wise person pick?  We chose the Buddha as the likelier and best choice to be a TRUE teacher.

Does the preacher/teacher teach that life is a wonderful gift to take delight in or that life is in fact suffering and anguish?  The Buddha teaches that one should not take delight in life and the world because that just perpetuates it, which is a mass of grief, sorrow, despair, misery, pain, lamentations, woe, suffering, anguish, dying and death.

Is life anguish or not?  Putting aside the well-documented 6,000 year history of hatred, greed, cruelty and misery done by human beings to one another, and to most other life forms on the planet, the next level of life DOWN can also be readily examined.

Namely the incalculable billions, several trillion in fact, of life forms, beings,  if one is looking at the all insect and microscopic levels -- within all the oceans, lakes and rivers, within the ground, on the ground and in the air.  What is the nature of their lives?  Essentially the truth that can easily be seen as true is that most of these beings live by murdering another being and then devouring that being as food; or that one is ultimately murdered and then devoured as food.  If all the blood thus shed by all the life forms or beings on this single planet for the last 4 Billion years of history of this planet had accumulated, the planet would now be easily and totally covered by blood from all the slaughter, no doubt several hundred miles deep everywhere.

Now, does a wise person say this is good, life is a great gift?  Something to take delight in?  To cling to, to crave?  Or does a wise person submit that this is something that has become perverse, corrupted, insane, stupid, insidious, despicable and something to be put away, to renounce?  We chose the Buddha as the likelier and best choice to be a TRUE teacher since he describes what is observable and true to a discerning eye that analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects.

Does the preacher/teacher teach that every attachment and desire is the root of all evil deeds, thoughts and words, the root of all anguish, the root cause of perpetuating all that has been created?  Or does the preacher/teacher teach that desires and attachments are something good?

When there is NO attachment to a material object, to another being, to a viewpoint, to a mental state or idea, then anguish does not arise when that object, being, viewpoint, mental state or idea becomes otherwise, alters, changes, disintegrates.  But it can clearly be discerned by an eye that carefully analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects that when there is attachment and desire, anguish does arise when the object of attachment/desire becomes otherwise, alters, changes and disintegrates.  We chose the Buddha as the likelier and best choice to be a TRUE teacher since he describes what is observable and true to a discerning eye that analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects.

Does the preacher/teacher teach that everything is impermanent or permanent, and that what is impermanent, subject to change at any moment is inherently a state of ill being?  Again, a discerning eye that analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects can see that the truth is that something always changing, altering, disintegrating will always be ill and can never be bliss, because there is no lasting peace and safety in what is impermanent.  We chose the Buddha as the likelier and best choice to be a TRUE teacher since he describes what is observable and true to a discerning eye that analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects.

Does the preacher/teacher teach what people want to hear or what is more likely to be truth?   Just say you are sorry and everyone is going to heaven at death?  Or that heavenly lives and hellish lives are right out there in front of us to see if we just shake the dust out of our eyes.  Is rebirth in a permanent heaven more likely than a heavenly or hellish rebirth right here, where we can see such lives of such beings unfolding right before us everyday?  And which is the higher aspiration from all those good deeds, most of which we rarely do, when the moment to do a true good deed arises.  Rebirth in a heaven with loved ones or rebirth with God.  Rebirth with God or re-merging with God itself?   Re-merging with God itself or becoming God itself?  Becoming God itself, creating universes and worlds, or self-realizing that everything created is impermanent, ill, just make-believe fiction, a state of delusion that can be shattered here and now, and self-awakening to one's true nature, ending what was just sort of a fabricated point of view, one of many, in what was sort of like a dream.

Namely, that God Itself alone is and this is not but a created delusion of Itself's own making and that Itself is the actual same singular self of all life forms.

Does the preacher/teacher teach a path of actions that directly points to and leads to supreme self-enlightenment and self-awakening where the ultimate truth and permanent peace can directly be self-realized right here and now, BEFORE DEATH?  Is the path simple to understand?  Does it make sense?  Does it rely on blind faith to either the original teacher, the teaching or some current teacher or preacher?  Or does it put the responsibility where it belongs, on the individual to find one's way to the ultimate truth, and this path simply says, "Come and see for yourself.  And you say you do want to SEE?  Well, then, you  need to walk to the top of the hill yourself and that requires an effort on your part.  And picking the right path to get you to the top of the hill, and not further down into the muck of the swamp, is your responsibility too."

We chose the Buddha as the likelier and best choice to be a TRUE teacher since he describes what is observable and true to a discerning eye that analyzes, weighs up, tests and reflects.

Is anyone here a master Buddhist teacher?  NO.  The muck and the fetters that bind the delusion are not easily destroyed.  There may be better teachers out there.  We convey what we can the best we can.  And what we convey is the fundamental essentials of what Buddhism is really all about and that the Pali Canon discourses are the best teacher of and to themselves that we have found.

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FAQ00021
How does the Buddha describe the way to awakening to the ultimate truth?

We will extract the key part from Discourse 36 from the Pali Text Society's Middle Length Sayings, Volume I, English translation edited by I.B. Horner.  In this discourse, the Buddha is recounting to Aggivessana the austerities he went through for several years, as was the practice with many homeless wandering religious mendicants, all on the great quest to awaken to the ultimate truth, to realize the Deathless.  After reaching a final point of severe austerity and reaching the edge of death, the Buddha concluded that this was not the way and wondered if there could be another way to awakening.

"This, Aggivessana, occurred to me: I know that while my father, the Sakyan, was ploughing, and I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, aloof from pleasures of the senses, aloof from unskilled states of mind, entering on the first meditation, which is accompanied by initial thought and discursive thought [reasoning from premises to conclusions], is born of aloofness, and is rapturous and joyful, and while abiding therein, I thought: Now could this be a way to awakening?"

"Then, following on my mindfulness [recalling this from his youth], Aggivessana, there was the consciousness: This is itself the Way to Awakening."

The Buddha goes on to describe his then entering the fourth meditation where by getting rid of joy and by getting rid of anguish, by the going down of former pleasures and sorrows, he entered into and abided in the fourth meditation which has neither anguish nor joy and which is entirely purified by equanimity and mindfulness.

Then, with all fetters utterly destroyed, with the mind composed thus, quite purified, quite clarified, without blemish, without defilement, grown soft and workable, fixed, immovable, he directed his mind in the course of that night to the higher knowledge that was to be known: recollecting former diverse lives lived in all their modes and details; seeing the passing and arising of beings with future lives determined according to the consequences of deeds done in previous lives; the knowledge of the addiction of sense-pleasures, delusion, becoming and ignorance, which when he knew thus, saw thus, his mind was freed from the addiction of sense-pleasures, delusion, becoming and ignorance. And in freedom came the knowledge that he was freed, destroyed was birth [rebirth], brought to a close was the effort of the great quest, done was what was to be done and that there was no more being such and such.

All you have to do to end anguish is to want to end permanently all anguish.

Thus, you begin the great quest, looking for the Way, and then doing it.

And the way of Buddhism is to destroy all the fetters, find a quiet spot and then break through the delusion as illustrated above.  This is itself the Way to Awakening.

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FAQ00022
First, how important is meditation?  And secondly, could you give a detailed, step-by-step 'instruction' for meditation?

We will provide a short answer at this time and may provide more details later.   The recommended Pali Canon English translations offer the best instructions but they are too lengthy for posting here.

Short Answer: You meditate to analyze, weigh up and test the teachings, word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph.  Then, once you decide to follow the teachings and understand their meaning, you meditate on shattering the delusion, beginning with destroying all the fetters as listed in the summary.  The final part to achieving the freedom and peace of mind, and freedom and peace achieved through Perfect Intuitive Wisdom is to finally pierce the delusion, which is EVERYTHING.  You do this by withdrawing from the delusion, layer by layer.  The first layer is withdrawing from the world to a secluded place where there is no reference to human beings and the attributes of civilization.  When one does not then see these things, and then meditates on how there was a point where these things did not exist -- this is the beginning of the process.  The next step could be in concentrating on a color, say brown or a bare piece of ground.  When one does not see the attributes of worlds -- vegetation, trees, insects, birds, animals, water, sky -- and then meditates on how there was a point where all these things did not exist -- just bare empty worlds of materiality -- and another layer is backed out of.  Eventually, you then back out of the layer of all materiality and worlds of materiality, and then you back out of the layers of immateriality of infinite space, then infinite mind, then nothingness, and then the final layer of neither perceiving nor non-perceiving, neither consciousness nor non-consciousness.  When you successfully shatter the delusion of this final layer and achieve temporary cessation of point-of-view and of perceiving and feelings, you reach and win the Deathless, the Unborn, the Uncreated.

You realize that the Deathless itself is the self of you but with the world being a delusion, this point of view, a being, is selfless and without essence.

You achieve Perfect Intuitive Wisdom.  Every iota of everything has always been, is and always will be just make believe fiction, a state of delusion worn like a costume with multiple fabricated points of view.  And thus seeing, thus knowing, thus self-realizing the ultimate truth, you no longer cling or crave or desire that which does not really exist in truth, and for one that no longer does this, there is no longer mental anguish nor rebirth nor continuation of a fabricated point of view that has now come to closure.

And while you still continue to remain in the world of fiction, the layers of delusion returning after coming out of this intense meditation or concentration where higher states have been realized, but where now Nirvana has been won, you know with absolute certainty that done is what was to be done, there is no longer any more becoming, being such and such, and you simply await the appointed hour for final dissolution, abiding in the peace of mind and peace of Perfect Intuitive Wisdom Self-realized.

Self is, this is not.

How quickly all this comes to be depends on how determined and committed you are to winning Nirvana.  The translations allude to some who achieved this in 12 hours, others required going through several more cycles of becoming.  The choice is yours.

You choose which path to follow to the ultimate truth of which there is no higher, and you choose how fast you will travel that path.

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FAQ00023
Who reaches nirvana and parinirvana if there is no self?

Fundamental Buddhism does not deny the existence of self.

And no where in the Pali Canon is it denied.

But what fundamental Buddhism does deny is everything else.

Absolute changeless permanent reality alone is.

Everything else has always been, is and always will be just make-believe fiction, a state of delusion worn like a costume with multiple fabricated points of view.  And all that is created is impermanent, without essence and inherently a state of ill-being.

And with perfect intuitive wisdom, it is realized that that which is ill it is not fitting to say that this is mine, this am I, this is my self.

But since all "Beings" and all worlds are fiction, they are without self, selfless.

Thus, who, or better "what" that realizes Nirvana is Nirvana itself.

Absolute Changeless Permanent Reality Itself realizing Itself.

Nirvana, Perfect Wisdom, the Deathless, the Unborn, the Uncreated, the Real, the Permanent, Absolute Changeless Permanent Reality, and Self are all the same, that which is unfathomable, inconceivable, immutable, inscrutable, deep, boundless, unmeasurable, markless, signless, undefinable, incomprehensible.

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FAQ00024
What similarities exist between Buddhism and (fill in the religion of your choice), particularly regarding the roots of each religion?

This is not a teaching site of comparative religions.  We teach only Fundamental Buddhism.  If you desire the answer to your question, you must learn what other religions teach and do not teach from other sources and then you make your own comparisons of similarities.

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FAQ00025
Are you enlightened?

If you mean has anyone here won Nirvana, won the Deathless, a self attained the incomparable self-awakening, the peace of mind and perfect intuitive wisdom, with all fetters destroyed, then the answer is: NO.  Liking and disliking with all their variations, including their intense extremes such as greed and hatred, plus the five higher fetters are not yet destroyed.  The goal is not yet won by anyone in our group.  As the Buddha said, to win the real, you must give up the unreal -- totally, absolutely, conclusively.  The immeasurable does not cling to fiction.  And there is nothing whatsoever fit to be clung to.  But thirsting after, clinging to and craving "the world" and all its addictive charms are not easily destroyed.

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FAQ00026
I doubt that your view would be endorsed by many Pali Scholars or Theravada Groups.

This website offers one interpretation of what fundamental Buddhism is actually all about.

We do believe our summary and these FAQs accurately reflect the core messages of the English translations of the Pali Canon as published decades ago by the Pali Text Society.  Many of the words and sentences we use come directly from those translations.

As a side note, a scholar monk editor from Sri Lanka who worked on the Encyclopaidia of Buddhism, who was fluent in both written English and written Pali and who had read the Pali Canon as written in Pali, reviewed our Fundamental Buddhism Summary and suggested only one change in one sentence, which we did change.  He considered our summary to accurately reflect what the Buddha actually taught as noted in the Pali Canon discourses.

That said, most of the world, in fact, does not endorse the view here.  Not most of the Christians nor Jews nor Muslims nor Hindu and indeed perhaps not many from the now varying Buddhist sects that have evolved over 2,500 years.  And even Buddhist "scholars" differ, easily noted after one reads many hundreds of books and articles on Buddhism that have been written over the last 100 years.

We feel that there are only a very small number of people teaching Buddhism who truly capture, understand and communicate the essence of the teachings of the Buddha as was fundamentally handed down in the Pali Canon discourses.

But all this neither supports the argument that the interpretations in this website are false
 nor supports the argument that the interpretations in this website are true.

We give but an interpretation.  It is up the reader who is traveling the path, seeking the ultimate truth, to consider, weigh up, analyze, test and reflect on every word and sentence from EVERY SOURCE since who can say at first glance that another holds the ultimate correct view where all others are false or flawed.  Our short dissertation is by no means THE teaching vehicle.  As indicated in the summary, if you are seriously following Buddhism, you should go to the oldest source of the best record of what the Buddha actually said and taught.  That source is the Pali Canon.

Read and study those records,
then draw your own conclusions just as we came to ours.

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FAQ00027
How does Buddhism view death and what are the rituals and beliefs surrounding death?

When there is no birth, there is no death.

Rituals do not play a part in fundamental Buddhism.

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FAQ00028
I just returned from my first-ever "service" (what should it be called?) at the local  Dharma Center.  90% of it was chanting in a language that is not English.   Generally each  prayer, mantra, etc. was presented in hieroglyphs, a Western alphabet version of the native words (sometimes claimed to be a phonetic transcription), and an English translation.  Not only could I not participate, but I felt quite (unnecessarily, it seems to me)  overwhelmed by confusion.  And I had a most disconcerting thought that I might never find the services to be supporting, encouraging, and enlightening, because I might never  understand what I was praying or praising -- and, even worse, I might find the ordeal counterproductive to my Dharma practice.  My question, at last: Is Dharma practice everywhere outside of the traditionally Buddhist countries conducted in one of the  traditionally Buddhist languages?  And, if so, why?

The "sect" you are participating in should be teaching and answering your questions in the language you can understand, but if you cannot understand the language they are using, then you may be in the wrong place, especially if they cannot provide written translated versions in your language.  We suggest that you need to invest in the Pali Canon English translations we recommend as your next step.  We believe they are the best teacher of all.

Regarding other language translations, in our case, we are trying to provide at least copies of the our summary in other languages but with virtually no major Buddhist benefactor and few making any donations to help us, we do not have the money to create them and must rely upon volunteers.  To date after almost ten years on the Internet, we have had only seven people volunteer to create other language copies.

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FAQ00029
Can you be a Buddhist and only agree with SOME of his teachings?  Is it okay if you don't?  Can you be a Buddhist and not follow one or two of the 8 parts of the Eightfold Noble Path?  And if you do not follow one or two of them, are you considered bad?

After 2,500 years, no one today can say with absolute certainty that anything is EXACTLY what the Buddha said and taught.  You must analyze, weigh up, test and reflect upon all the Buddhist teachings you study and then decide for yourself what is worthy of following.  But if you generally decide to follow the Buddha's teaching about the goal of winning the deathless, the unborn, the undying, the unsuffering, the unaging, the unsorrowing, the freedom from what has been created, permanently ending all anguish and all that is impermanent, winning Nirvana, the real, then that is enough to be able to say, "I am a Buddhist."  There is no judgment about being good or bad.  Only you know how well you are moving along the path to reach the goal relative to the Eightfold Noble Path and other parts of the Buddha's instructions.  And you alone decide whether you will follow the path, how well you will follow the path and how fast you will move along the path.

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FAQ00030
What role do women play in Buddhist societies?

Within many different Buddhist sects, within many different countries and local areas, women play many different roles.  But for those following fundamental Buddhism, seeking to win the Deathless, Nirvana, turning away from all that is created, putting it away, seeking closure, neither women nor men play any roles anymore.   One's focus is on that single goal and there is only minimal participation in the world.  Achieving the incomparable self-enlightenment and self-awakening and bringing to an end this round of becoming, this make-believe fiction, is the only role and the only goal; and when achieved, abiding in the incomparable peace and perfect wisdom, and knowing with certainty that this is the last cycle, there is no more being such and such for that fabricated point of view.

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FAQ00031
Yes, but isn't (____ fill in the blank with the thing, concept or view of your choice) worth clinging to?

No.

Everything has always been impermanent, concocted, make-believe fiction, a state of delusion.
Everything is now impermanent, concocted, make-believe fiction, a state of delusion.
Everything will always be impermanent, concocted, make-believe fiction, a state of delusion.

This being the way things truly are,

Everything has never been fit to be clung to.
Everything now is not fit to be clung to.
Everything will never be fit to be clung to.

The uncreated, the unconditioned, absolute reality itself, alone is.   There is no other.
And all conditioned states, states of make-believe, states of becoming, do not exist in truth.

And for one that clings to nothing whatsoever, grasps at nothing, is attached to nothing at all, comes to see things the way they truly are, makes an end to what is ill, and wins the freedom, the peace of mind, the permanent end of all anguish, and the incomparable peace through perfect intuitive wisdom self-realized.

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FAQ00032
Once Nirvana is attained, you stated you believe that person becomes a part of God...True Reality.  Is it possible then for that "Being" to be reincarnated as a Buddha into this earth plane reality?

Your first sentence is not correct in that this is not what we meant.  Since posting this answer, we have rewritten that section to avoid the confusion.  Our group does NOT believe a person becomes a "part" of God...True Reality.  And the reason is -- because "persons" are selfless, without Self, and do not exist in truth.

The uncreated alone is.  Reality Itself.  Everything else, meaning all that ever has been created, is now created, and ever will be created, is just make-believe fiction, a state of delusion.

And what never existed in truth to begin with, does not then become "a part" of anything.

Body, feelings, perception, activities and mind/consciousness are not the Self.
Self does not have body, feelings, perception, activities and mind/consciousness.
Body, feelings, perception, activities and mind/consciousness are not in the Self.
The Self is not in the body, feelings, perception, activities, mind/consciousness.

This paragraph is a core teaching of the Pali Canon, which permeates throughout many of the Pali Canon translated discourses.

Thus, what we believe and say, is that when a "Being" obtains Nirvana, then that fabricated piece of fiction, that point of view in the delusion, closes out.   Do you see the difference?

Self -- Reality ITself -- alone is.  All else is NOT.  
"This, the world" is not but a delusion.

Created conditioned states -- ideations, states of self-delusion self-fantasy -- they arise, persist awhile, are subject to decay, and then finally are dissolved again.   Point of view by point of view by point of view by point of view...until finally totally dissolved altogether.

Thus, since Reality Itself is the self of you (and of all other beings), isn't this the highest, by realizing this with perfect intuitive wisdom via your piercing the delusion of this round of make-believe fiction, all of self's own making?

Now regarding the second part of your question, Tibetan Buddhists hold that such Beings, Buddha's, DO continue "to come back" to help others to win Nirvana.  The Pali Canon suggests that this is NOT the case.  The Pali Canon discourses, however, do suggest that other beings in the future achieve full enlightenment and release and they in turn help guide others out of the muck.

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FAQ00033
Other then Siddhartha Gautama... has anybody else reached FULL ENLIGHTENMENT?

Yes.  The Pali Canon translations list many followers that achieved Nirvana.   Many of THEIR short discourses have survived and are revealing in their own right.   Most are condensed in the two volumes (I and II) of Elder's verses, part of the Pali Canon collection.   The English translations are also available from the Pali Text Society and through their USA distributor.

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FAQ00034
I can't seem to find information on the origin of this cycle of suffering, birth, death, etc.  How did this  delusion/confusion begin?  Why are there conditioned states of fabricated existence?

If there ever was a clear discourse stating this in the Pali Canon, it has been lost in antiquity.  One discourse said there never was a point where there was no ignorance.   Why there are conditioned states is not clearly stated anywhere.  Our belief is that Reality in and of itself alone is.  All else has always been, is and always will be just "conditioned states" -- that is, just states of make-believe, self-fantasy, self-delusion, which are self-created ideations that are simultaneously planned, designed, thought out and affected and at the same time "experienced vicariously" in self-imagining self-ignorance" as if "they were real" via incalculable numbers of fabricated points of view, each sustaining itself and the delusion via self-perpetuating self-ignorance until each closes out via attaining self-enlightenment and self-awakening.

Note the statement by the Buddha in one of the discourses in the Kindred Sayings:
The eye [and likewise tongue, ear, nose, body, mind], brethren, is to be viewed as an action that is old, brought about and intentionally done, as a base for feeling.

Our opinion is that doing this is an ongoing activity, where these generations of creations of vicarious "becoming" arise, persist awhile, decay and then finally, are dissolved again.  Self-realizing that "this really is the way things truly are" will for an instant -- may put the same self-amused smile on your face that you see on some statues of the Buddha.

To conclude, another of the discourses states that "...one who, by perfect comprehension of conceit, has made an end of Ill."  I believe this is being defined as the understanding that Reality Itself engages regularly in perfect creative imagination, the capacity of ultimate active fantasy via total immersion.  When one understands that this is just the way things truly are, then one understands that ending a created, fabricated fictitious point of view within this current imagining requires the ending of the craving and attachment for it and all its constituent parts plus the ending of the intoxication of sensuality, the intoxication of delusion, the intoxication of becoming and the intoxication of self-ignorance, all necessary for sustaining the immersion and state of delusion.

In short, Absolute Permanent Reality in and of itself alone is.  There is no other.

Reality itself has a latent tendency toward active imagining via total immersion where it vicariously becomes what it imagines and where the delusion is self-sustained via self-ignorance.  If one understands this as the way things truly are, disinterest in what has been created will grow and Nirvana and closure will soon follow; and then, for that one, there will be no renewed fabricated existences.

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FAQ00035
I am doing a school report and could you also provide me (______fill in the blank)?

All that is available from our group is on this website.  No, we cannot provide anything else.

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FAQ00036
May I post a link to your website?

Whether you like or dislike this site, anyone has our permission to post a link to this site.

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FAQ00037
I know that you cannot answer me through email form so I will check periodically at this website for the answers.  My questions are:

1.) It becomes uncomfortable after a period to sit in this cross-legged manner.   Is it supposed to?

Usually does.  You do NOT have to sit cross-legged all the time.  You can walk, sit in a chair, lie down.  Reflect, reflect, reflect, reflect is the key; not the position you are in at any given moment.

2.) Can you explain basically what are the steps (what I should experience on the path) leading to Nirvana?  So I will know that I am progressing.

I want to tell you that I have been seeking for some time now for what I have found on your website.  I know that this is the right path.  Your teaching has brought me into a new world.  I purchased the "Middle Length Sayings" and read anywhere from two to six suttas (discourses) a day.  I meditate everyday.   I have only talked with one person about Buddhism.  One day a man (stranger) walked up to while I was at work and told me, "You are a man that stands for uprightness, you believe in that which is upright."  He walked off and I have never seen this man again.  It stunned me.  That kind of thing does not happen to me.  I don’t believe that the Buddha taught that these types of strange things will happen to you so I don’t know how to take it.  I know you probably receive lots of email but I just wanted to share this with you.  Thanks.

What you should experience is the knowing that the fetters are either being worn away, are reducing, or are gone within you.  Or not, thus meaning slow progress.  What you should experience is reducing levels of anguish and anxiety.  What you should realize within your self is whether your progress is good or not good relative to the Four Noble Truths.  Regarding the fruit to be realized when you achieve the first major accomplishment, the total and final destruction of the first three fetters, it is incomprehensible to anyone who has not realized it.  When it happens, you will know.   And you will know that the first three fetters are destroyed and gone within you.

Likewise when you achieve the second major accomplishment, the significant reduction of fetters four and five; the third major accomplishment, the total and final destruction of fetters four and five; and finally the fourth major accomplishment, the total and final destruction of the remaining fetters six through ten and the winning of the Deathless, Nirvana, the Unaging, the Undying, the Unsuffering, the Unborn, the Unconditioned State.

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FAQ00038
I realize back in the old days people who practiced Buddhism would go live in a monastery and they could live in peace forever there.  However nowadays, especially in the West, it is nearly impossible to live without a need for financial aid.  How is one, who wishes to de-tangle themselves from the impermanence of society, to live when he/she depends so much on it?  For shelter, food and lavatorial needs?  Simple questions that would render a laugh, but it's a question that I have before I decide what I must do.  Sure, I can drop all the material needs but can I survive physically without certain ones?  Mentally I would be better off, but there must be a balance of both -- no?

The Pali Canon commentaries by the monks who lived during the time of the Buddha suggest that people who do NOT go forth into the homeless state can still win Nirvana here and now.  It is just harder to do.  Conditions within the West at this time are not conducive to living the life of a homeless mendicant (beggar) wandering religious recluse -- regardless of which religion is followed but perhaps especially true of Buddhism where there is almost no support of this type for those following this religion.  Thus, most of us in the West who are Buddhists must follow the path with greater difficulty, continuing to participate in the world, striving as best we can to realize the promise of this religion.

A tiny few, of course, have relocated to those countries where there is support by the local population for wandering Buddhist monks and Buddhist monasteries; but perhaps, if you can find time for occasional seclusion where you now live for meditation and reflection, striving along the path outlined, continuously mindful and methodically wearing away the fetters that bind, then perhaps that may be enough since it is noted in the Pali Canon commentaries by monks at the time of the Buddha that lay persons who lived regular worldly lives were indeed able to win the Deathless also.

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FAQ00039
Dear Sir,  After having read a number of answers to posted questions, it has been noticed that there is a great deal of me, mine, and myself at work in these answers, i.e. the first fetter.  For example, here is one from many.  "And then after that, one must observe if the benefits of what is promised are self-realized."   While it may prove expedient to use such language, the formation of the answers is misleading.  Furthermore, as was indicated in the introduction, "only a Tathagata can teach perfectly" which is to say that a Tathagata is the only one having the Wisdom to not unknowingly lead another down false paths.

In every instance of 'our opinion' there is indicated a statement of not knowing, but an attempted answer based on 'our qualifications'.  Long years of studying texts are not necessarily sufficient to cultivate adequate skills, much less the enlightenment factors needed to assist one in a profitable direction.

Furthermore, there is every indication to be had from the language that the five hindrances and the fetters are completely functional and in consequence, the entire page is serving only to feed the samsaric process.  All of this is precisely what is meant by wrong speech and of the three roots, confusion.  Truly, it is sometimes more beneficial to remain silent.  Finally, a helpful litmus to verify the accuracy of these statements is to look at the internal arising of either anger or conceit when reading this email.  If either or both of these states are present, the experiential level has given an accurate read as to the underlying intentions involved in posting this site.

The question implied in this criticism is that this person does not think we are qualified to teach, especially being less than perfect as a Tathagata; and do we not agree by way of this argument?

Upon reflection, we believe the argument submitted is imperfect.  This person seems to suggest that he would have all that are imperfect remain silent on the Dharma and teaching of Buddhism. 

We would submit that if there is no Tathagata (nor teaching Arahants) in the world today nor since over two thousand years ago, and if only a Tathagata can teach perfectly, then by default, all those who would teach and promote the teachings of the Buddha since not long after his death, are and have been doing so imperfectly.

If they were to have all remained silent, who would have kept the religion alive?   It would have disappeared completely within a generation after the Buddha's death.

We say that keeping silent just because you are imperfect, and are communicating and teaching imperfectly, does not keep with the spirit of the Pali Canon where sharing one's knowledge of the Dharma is expected, however limited that understanding and the ability to communicate is to a given imperfect individual who has not yet attained Buddhahood. 

Anyone has a right to share with others what they believe in and their interpretation of their beliefs.  We share our knowledge of Buddhism with those who decide to come to these webpages, with now several million webpages available on the subject of Buddhism.  We most certainly encourage everyone to weigh up, analyze and reflect on every word posted here, and NOT accept anything without that reflection and consideration, and until they feel it has merit.

While no one here is a real monk, and hindrances and fetters do persist, we nonetheless believe, imperfect as we are, that we do have insight worth reviewing as noted in the summary on fundamental Buddhism plus additional insight as posted in these questions, imperfectly communicated as it might be.

This website will continue for a time, exercising our right to share our beliefs, as is the right of everyone in the world.  In the case of Buddhism, if anyone has great understanding and insight, and can teach and communicate well, even perfectly, then one should certainly start their own website and teach those who are seeking instruction on real Buddhism.

Indeed, with regard to Buddhism, we would encourage the reader NOT to consider this site as their sole source for Buddhism instruction.  By all means, seek knowledge and guidance that has merit wherever you feel you can find it.

BUT -- we would emphatically encourage the reader to definitely consider the Pali Canon discourses as a primary source for instruction, and in fact that the discourses themselves ARE the best teacher in and of themselves, which are available from either the Pali Text Society or their USA distributor, as noted in the summary.

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FAQ00040
I was really pleased to come across your site as I have often wondered what the Buddha actually taught.

I have read through your summary and have the following questions.  I would really appreciate your help with understanding these sections.  Please excuse my miss-understandings.

It seems to me that so many miss-understandings are caused through the English language as the meanings of the words are not always precise.  According to your summary:

Buddhism is THE PATH OF ESCAPE for those seeking the permanent end here and now of all anguish.

I presume that this escape is to a place where there is no anguish (Nirvana).

...for those who have come to see that what has been CREATED is IMPERMANENT;

Q. Isn’t this a contradiction?

To escape from the IMPERMANENCE of what has been CREATED to....what?   Surely it is an escape to something which has been created (call that state Nirvana if you wish), and therefore is , according to the above, impermanent?  By implication of the previous statements such a state cannot be either an escape, or an escape from anguish.

In all honesty, I do not think contradictions exist - check a premise and you’ll find one is wrong.  SO: either creation is NOT impermanent (for there would be nothing to escape to) or there is NO escape from that which has been created - which IS impermanence.

(Of course all of the above begs the question - ‘created’ by whom or what? what is the Buddhist answer to this?)  Of course, all of the above puts the following statement into question: whatever is impermanent is inherently ILL.  The implicit contradiction here is, of course, obvious.

Either there IS a path of escape to a place/state where there is an end of anguish.  If so, this place/state (Nirvana) MUST have been ‘created’ (mentally artificially or in True Absolute Reality) - and as the Buddha said, what has been created is impermanent, and whatever is impermanent is inherently ILL

OR

there IS NO escape from that which has been created which is impermanent and an inherently impermanent creation cannot be ILL - it is what it is

Q. Which is it?

The final passage I am struggling with is:

The aim of living the path...is Nirvana...True Reality realized.  The Uncreated, the Unborn...

I assume from this that you are saying that which has been created which has been born can reach the (mental?) state of that which has not been created or not been born.  I am born - I am created - yet the Buddha in this passage would have me remain as what I am yet become what I am not.

Q. Isn’t this the same as expecting a piece of wood to become a piece of metal whilst at the same time remaining as a piece of wood?

Thank you for your time.  Your assistance with my problems is appreciated - as I am unable to dedicate myself to living the path of the doctrine of the Buddha on the basis of a contradiction - or on the belief that what appears prima facie to be a contradiction is in fact not a contradiction.

We would observe that contradictions do indeed exist: Absolute changeless reality that exists then vicariously becoming that which does not exist and is impermanent.  Not to mention, that which is undying, unsuffering, unaging then vicariously becoming dying, suffering, aging, etc.  But as you note, language is difficult.  We most certainly do not have at this time the skill to address your issues on Pali Canon translations and our use of them in our interpretation.  Perhaps you will run into a Buddha one day who can communicate better.

Regarding your choice to not live the path of the doctrine of Buddhism because of the failure of anyone to convince you and win you over, that is your choice.  Even the Buddha did not chase after anyone in any attempt to "save them by converting them to the one true religion."  As is noted in the Pali Canon, the primary emphasis was the teaching of what is anguish and what is the permanent ending of anguish.  The choice whether one listens, studies and follows is everyone's free choice.

When the day comes when anyone is filled with the deepest blackness of despair and anguish, and they find another way other than the doctrine of Buddhism that can and does lead to the immediate and permanent end of such anguish, they should definitely promote that path to the world.  Then those choosing to follow that path can determine for themselves if it works or not.

What better way to decide for oneself whether such a path is something worth following or not.

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FAQ00041
Sometimes I am confused.  I don't feel very sad when my grandmother passed away because, to me, when someone is born, he or she will die one day.  It is just a matter of time.  There is no point to be attached to our body.  When my father got cancer and complained of his illness to me, I just asked him to accept it as it was.   But, I was scolded for being indifferent and not caring for him.  But, I feel sickness and death are parts of our lives.  Why must we be affected by them?   Just take them as they are ... no pain... no gain... and no loss... no worries... and no self.  But when I achieve that, I was being scolded for not caring for someone whom I am suppose to love.

Am I at the right path?  Or am I human?  Or am I just trying to be indifferent?

The Pali Canon texts suggest you are on the right path.  It was noted that at the death of the Buddha, those who had realized the Deathless, won Nirvana, did not weep; while those still traveling the path, still attached to the world, did weep.

Remember, few people in this world follow the religion of Buddhism.  It goes against the flow of traditional thinking and against the thinking of other religions.   If you follow fundamental Buddhism, you will also have to be indifferent and detached to the criticism of others in both your choosing Buddhism and then in how you actually follow the path of Buddhism.

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FAQ00042
How long does it take to win Nirvana, the Deathless?

Based on our interpretation of the Pali Canon, once you start, and depending on your effort, we believe it is somewhere between 12 hours and a really long time, like several life cycles, but at most 7, once you obtain a level called stream-winner, which is defined as the first three fetters being totally destroyed (see list of 10 fetters in the summary).  When each level is attained, beginning with stream-winner, there is higher knowledge that is realized.  It cannot be explained.  You need to experience it to know it, just like the ultimate last level, Nirvana.

And according to the Pali Canon discourses, when you know fetters are destroyed within you, you can certainly declare it so.  And when you have realized the fruits of each level, you can declare it so. Whether others believe it is so or not is not relevant to you and your achievement of the ultimate goal, Nirvana, the Deathless, the Undying, the Unaging, the Unborn.

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FAQ00043
What's the short answer to winning the Deathless?

Reality Itself as the vicarious self within a point of view, a being, grows dissatisfied with the current round of becoming, this delusion, this state of make-believe fiction.  From dissatisfaction, grows disgust, from disgust, grows revulsion, from revulsion, grows dispassion, from dispassion, there is an ending of all attachments, desires, and fetters that support the continuation of the delusion supported by the point of view, then from the ending of all attachments, desires and fetters, freedom is won, from the winning of freedom, the knowledge of being free arises and the knowledge that done is what needs to be done, there is no more being such and such for this fabricated point of view in any hereafter as anything whatsoever anywhere in anything, and thus this round of make-believe shrinks with another fabricated point of view -- "a being" -- closing out.

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FAQ00044
Is there a faster way to understanding and winning the Deathless?

An excerpt from one of the Pali Canon English translation discourses: 

"What do you think about this, monks?  Is material shape, feelings, perception, habitual tendencies and consciousness permanent or impermanent?"

"Impermanent, revered Sir."

"But what is impermanent painful or is it pleasant?"

"Painful, revered Sir."

"And is it right to regard that which is impermanent, suffering, liable to change, as 'This is mine, this am I, this is my self'?"

"No, revered Sir."

"Wherefore, monks, whatever is material shape, feelings, perception, habitual tendencies, consciousness, past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, mean or excellent, or whatever is far or near, thinking of all this as "This is not mine, this am I not, this is not my self,' he should see it thus as it really is by means of perfect wisdom.  Seeing it thus, monks, the instructed disciple of the pure ones turns away from material shape, he turns away from feeling, he turns away from perception, turns away from the habitual tendencies, turns away from consciousness; turning away he is  detached; by his detachment he is freed; in freedom there is the knowledge that he is freed and he comprehends: Destroyed is birth, brought to a close is the faring, done is what was to be done, there is no more of being such or so."

Get it yet ?????

The Deathless ITSELF alone is -- absolute changeless reality in and of itself.  There is no other.  Period.

Everything else is always just a creation of fiction, a self-sustaining delusion.

What is delusion and all its constituent parts is impermanent.  What is impermanent is ill and is a state of ill-being, not well being.  What is impermanent, subject to change and is ill, is not fitting to say that any of it is mine, am I, is my self.  With perfect intuitive wisdom, it is fitting to say, "All of this and every element of it is not mine, all of it am I not, all of it is not my self."  Turning away from this created delusion and all its elements leads to total detachment and the destruction of all attachments.  When this accomplished, freedom is won.  When won, knowledge of being freed arises.

Continuous mindfulness of the above is the 7th part of the Eightfold Noble Path  --  Right Mindfulness.

Everything is impermanent, willed, arisen from a cause.
That which is the cause, that also is impermanent.
Thus knowing, thus seeing, one can without delay destroy all attachments.

What is impermanent is ill, a state of ill-being.
What is ill is void of self.
What is void of self is not mine, I am not it, it is not my self.
So seeing, one is repelled by all that has been created.
Being repelled, one lusts no longer for any of it.
Not lusting after anything anymore, one is set free.
Not craving for sensuality, life, worlds, hereafters, one is set free.
In this freedom comes insight that it is a "being" free.
Then one realizes, rebirth is destroyed, done is the task.

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FAQ00045
Why don't you have an image or two on your website, as do other Buddhist websites, that might inspire someone to take Buddhism seriously?

We have had many emails suggesting this over the last couple years.

And since this posted answer, we have added several images on this webpage and one on the nirvana page.

The Buddha suggested several devices to meditate on, which would enable one to realize the Deathless element faster.  One was a skeleton where you contemplate that you consist of the same components as one who has died and decayed down to just a skeleton.  Seeing that all constituent parts of a "being" are thus impermanent, subject to change, subject to pain, suffering and anguish, one starts to recognize that all that has been created is not worth clinging to, is impermanent, is Ill, and then by perfect intuitive wisdom, selfless.

Unfortunately, all the insanity, brutality, savagery, pain, misery, suffering, anguish, poverty, disease, dying and atrocities by the predatory nature of the world do not seem to be enough to motivate most to observe that something is terribly wrong about the universe and all that has arisen.  And that something must be done now to absolutely ensure that one is immune from all anguish possible in any hereafter.

As pointed out in the Fundamental Buddhism Explained Summary:

The evidence of perpetuating, continuous rebirth and reforming, with future "lives" determined according to former deeds done in PAST lives, can be readily seen in the wide diversity of Beings born into this world who immediately have great good fortune or have great misfortune, EVEN THOUGH NO DEEDS OF ANY KIND HAVE YET BEEN DONE IN THEIR NEW LIFE!  Think about this and then compare your "present" life to the lives of the other five billion "human" Beings in this world, and indeed to the lives of ALL the world’s different types of Beings.

(and since our summary was written, human beings now number over six billion, with most living in poverty)

So, the image of a skeleton we have chosen is that of a pair of twins born in 1851, displayed at the Mütter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, PA, USA.

We offer it as a meditation image to inspire the reader to more closely examine the nature of what has been created and to be inspired to make an effort to put away evil thoughts, words and actions PLUS to make sure that whatever religion you follow, you perhaps should follow that religion that suggests you do have the ability to make absolutely sure that you will be immune from any rebirth such as these two twins who were destined for a hellish life in THIS world.  And being absolutely sure means more than just relying on blind faith and belief.

WARNING!

Do NOT click on the following link to the image if you do NOT want to see a glimpse of a true hellish rebirth.

As the Buddha suggested, make the effort NOW to realize the Deathless and win Nirvana and freedom and know with certainty that there is no more rebirth as anything whatsoever anywhere in anything, no more becoming, no more being such and such.

Do not be remiss later from choosing ignorance and not taking seriously the parameters of what has been created.

Image of Conjoined Twins 1851

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FAQ00046
When one wants to awake from a nightmare, sometimes something simple can enable one to realize everything is but a dream and to end the dream one simply needs but to awaken.  Can you suggest something that provides such insight to awakening faster when one has reached a point of dissatisfaction with everything that has been created?

Assuming that at this point you have read the summary and all the FAQs up to this one, we suggest the following, which you should be able to now understand:

Be continuously mindful of this:  Since absolute permanent reality in and of itself alone is and there is no other, only delusion, then be mindful that everything is self-designed, self-created, self-sustained and self-perpetuated until it is self-ended through self-enlightenment and self-awakening.

Everything about this round of becoming is of your self's own making.

From your specific fabricated point of view perspective, in you the fact that you and your life is of your own making ought to be fixed in your mind and you should think that this is of your own making, the heir to deeds where deeds are the matrix, deeds are the kin, deeds are the foundation; whatever one does, good or bad, one will become heir to that.

From the perspective of self that alone is, that is, absolute reality in and of itself, all that has arisen is of self's own making.

Now, knowing that all is "like a dream" and all is "self-created" what exactly is worth clinging to, craving and desiring when all is fiction of your own making and that the unconditioned state is a permanent peace and bliss that exceeds anything "created" in a delusion.

Time to wake up?  Tired of the "show" of make-believe?  Tired of the suffering, pain, anguish, misery, unhappiness, fear, sorrow, despair, lamenting, grief, terror within what has been created?  Tired of the cycle of birth, decay, death?  Tired of worlds whose theme is greed, lust, hatred and predation with the stronger always preying on the weaker?

Then if so, come to know that everything whatsoever is a product of thought, produced by thought, a self-fantasy, a self-delusion, a self-created conceit -- active imagining via total immersion into the thought construction -- all impermanent, of a nature to end.

Fixed on this idea, with the self established, namely the deathless element, the unconditioned state, permanent reality in and of itself that alone is with no other, conscious that this is the real, this will then lead to the calming of all activities, the fading of interest in all that has been created, the ending of craving for it and all its constituent parts, stopping, Nirvana, and one can soon bring the fetters that sustain the delusion to an end and win the unsurpassed peace not yet won.

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FAQ00047
To my understanding, Buddhism is about ending all suffering and reaching Nirvana.  In the teachings of the Buddha, suffering is caused by desire, and one can only reach Nirvana when all suffering (desire) is ended.  But is it not a desire to want to end all desires?  I don't comprehend how the more or less point of Buddhism is to end all suffering and desires, while the entire philosophy/religion is based on one main desire: to reach Nirvana and end all suffering.  Please explain this.

Think of this desire as the LAST, most important, highest desire there could be.  When the goal is then achieved, this final desire ceases to be and there are no other future desires that will arise to take its place.

Further, when you start to see things the way they truly are, I believe you realize that the Deathless, Nirvana, is actually reached by the cessation of all desires and all attachments, which when ended, then there is no longer any support for the perpetuation of delusion, this conditioned state of fabricated fiction.  

Thus, Nirvana is won actually from the ending of all desires and attachment to anything whatsoever, which includes the Deathless since that already is the only reality and that "this" -- the world and every constituent part -- that is actually fiction, an illusion, wholly imaginary.

Desires and attachments sustain the delusion;
no desires and no attachments end the delusion.

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FAQ00048
Is there a way to super-accelerate the realization of the ultimate truth?

Several discourses suggest that there is.  Since time grows shorter for all, death always coming at any moment, then contemplating that possible moment of death can accelerate the realization of the ultimate truth.  Let's contemplate such a moment.

Imagine you are outside during a sunny day and you suddenly observe that everyone is looking skyward.  You look up and to your surprise, the sun is five times bigger and everything is growing brighter and brighter, hotter and hotter.  You then realize that the Sun has just gone nova, blown up, which stars do all the time, and you realize that you probably have one minute left to live before you and the entire world will be utterly destroyed.  Sixty seconds.

Watch the minute hand on your watch.  Start the countdown. 60, 59, 58, 57 ...

Now with our remaining 56 seconds, before death comes, let's get done what has to be done, sooner or later.

This is a delusion, a constructed conditioned state.  It's not real.  Being impermanent, not real, it is inherently a state of ill being.  What is a state of ill being, it is not intuitively fitting to say that any part of this is mine, this am I, this is my self.

40, 39, 37 ...

The unconstructed, unconditioned state alone is.  It is the real.   It is permanent, changeless, the unborn, the undying, the unsuffering, the deathless.  It is a state of well-being.  It is the ultimate truth, a singularity, and there has never been any other.

Delusions are not fit to be clung to and there is no constituent part of a delusion worth clinging to, worth thirsting after, worth perpetuating make-believe sensuality, make-believe worlds, make-believe individual entities, becoming this then that, and the self-ignorance necessary to sustain the delusion.

All this was always a delusion, make-believe fiction, and by perfect intuitive wisdom, seeing things the way they truly are, none of it, not any part of it, was ever mine, not I, not my self.

20, 19, 18 ...

Time to be detached, dispassionate, disinterested in what was always just a creation.  Time for the theatre of make-believe to cease, once and for all.  This round of creation -- and that means everything with all its themes of predation, greed, lust, hatred, suffering, grief, sorrow, lamentations, misery, despair, anguish, dying and death -- is exhausted and it's time to put this round of fantasy away.

The unconditioned state alone is, and all conditioned states never were.

...3,2,1.  Poof.

What happens next -- or no longer happens next -- is up to each individual.

Each fabricated point of view contains within it the power to sustain the continuation of delusion 

or to cause the cessation of its own universe of delusion.

Every type of being that is born is subject to suffering, decay, death.

Note once again:  The Buddha strongly suggested not to be remorseful later by putting off to the "last minute" to try to get done what needs to be done.

The clock is running.

And all current "beings" will come to face their last minute, sooner or later.

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FAQ00049
When you win Nirvana, what happens next?

Based on many Pali Canon discourses, one can expect the following:

Any other abilities that may or may not arise are to be ignored.

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FAQ00050
What is the meaning of life?

If you have read the summary twice and all the FAQs before this one, then the answer should be obvious.

The meaning of life is that life serves as the medium or vehicle within the delusion, this state of make-believe, serving as the means whereby Reality Itself -- or God Itself if you like -- can then vicariously experience its own delusion, its own imaginary creation, which is self-sustained in a state of self-ignorance, and then ultimately at some point, self-ended with a state of self-enlightenment, fabricated point of view --life, "a being" -- by fabricated point of view.

If the next question is then what is the meaning of conditioned states of becoming, perhaps the speculative answer is no more complicated than observing what a single child often does when there is "no other" to interact with -- the child simply creates its own delusions, states of imagining, of make-believe fiction, and interacts within them, playing all the parts.

If Reality Itself alone is and there just is no other, and then per the Buddha's teachings that there has never been a point when there were not conditioned states and self-ignorance, and thus perhaps that is just the way things truly are.

That said, based on what does anyone arrive at the conviction of truth that was has been currently created is good?  Perhaps all creations are not good, because they are impermanent and therefore inherently ILL and a state of ill-being.

And additionally, perhaps the current creation has a theme of exploring the concepts of sorrow, grief, despair, suffering, pain, misery and anguish.  A hard realistic appraisal of this world says that in truth its design is predatory.  Beings by design prey upon one another, competing to survive with limited resources, and in most cases, those resources are other "beings" themselves.  An obscene creation of a vast mass of beings that prey upon, kill and devour one another as food.

A design that nurtures hatred and greed with the outcome of more recycles of suffering, pain, misery, anguish, predation, unhappiness, murder, old age, disease, dying and death  -- always a state of ill-being, never a state of well-being.

The Buddha was quite clear that anyone who continues to cling to this creation, clings to the continuation of pain and suffering, and the continuous falling into the abyss of this horrific bloody nightmare creation that has been self-created -- a mass of ill, a mass of evil, a mass of suffering.

Is this not the way things are within this creation, the stronger almost ALWAYS preying on the weaker?

A creation where there are insufficient resources for all.
Where all individual life forms will do anything to survive.
Where all life forms prey and feed upon one another by design.
Where from the insufficient resources, greed and hatred arise.
Where from the victimization, greed and hatred arise.
Where from the greed and hatred, evil deeds are done in thought, word and deed.
Where from the deeds, karma sets future cycles of more pain, suffering, anguish.
From more cycles, more greed, more hatred, more evil, more pain, suffering, anguish.
And thus the abyss of a repeating insane, horrific, perverse, murderous nightmarish state of ill-being.
All self-created.
All self-sustained and self-perpetuated in a state of self-ignorance.
Until all is self-ended only through total self-enlightenment and self-awakening.

And if it is not self-ended through self-enlightenment, if there is continuous rebirth as this or that, does it  not make sense that one will always be prey to the evil ones, those Beings who readily embrace greed and hatred, who will do any evil deed all in order "to survive at all costs", to fulfill their desires at another's expense no matter what?

The teaching of the Buddha says the power to end the cycles lies within each life form, each Being.  That is the hope for every Being.  To win freedom from what has been created, to escape the nightmare, this constructed state of ill-being.  And all you need to do is simply destroy the world of fiction, the entire universe, all that has been created, from the hells to the heavens.

And to do that, you simply need to "pop" the delusion -- think of popping a blown-up balloon with a pin.

Only, from the inside.

We, all life forms, are all fabricated points of view inside the delusion, this balloon of illusion, with Reality Itself the self of all "selfless Beings".

Ready yet to pick up the pin and pop the delusion, right here, right now?

Or have you NOT had enough yet of the treachery and predation, the deceit, the betrayals, the greed, the hatred, the fear, the poverty, the anguish, the pain, the sorrow, the grief, the despair, the suffering, the misery, the sickness and disease, old age, dying and death?

If you haven't had enough yet, it is real easy for you to continue to play the make-believe game again.  You simply do nothing that guarantees it ends here and now -- and another round will recycle all by itself.

Do you understand what real Buddhism is really all about now?

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FAQ00051
Why is your website so negative about the world?

Each DAY in the developing world, more than 30,000 children die from mostly preventable and treatable causes such as diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, measles or malaria.  These diseases are far more deadly to children who are stunted or underweight.  12 million people die each year from lack of water, including 3 million children from waterborne disease: 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water; 2.4 billion people live without decent sanitation; and 4 billion without wastewater disposal.  852 million people across the world are hungry, up from 842 million a year ago. 153 million children under 5 in the developing world are underweight. Worse yet, 11 million children younger than 5 die every year, more than half from hunger-related causes.  And even in the United States, one in four children are hungry or at risk of hunger.  In the United States, 36.3 million people—including 13 million children—live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents more than one in ten households in the United States (11.2 percent). This is an increase of 1.4 million, from 34.9, million in 2002.  In the U.S. following years of decline, participation in the food stamp program has been on the rise.  In August 2002, 19.7 million people participated in the food stamp program.  March 2002 was the first month since July 1998 in which the number of food stamp participants exceeded 19 million.  In August 2004, over 24.6 million people participated in the food stamp program.

Hunger does not exist because the world does not produce enough food. We have the experience and the technology right now to end the problem. The challenge we face is not production of food and wealth, but more equitable distribution.

Source: http://www.bread.org/hungerbasics/index.html

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"The real wealth of a nation is its people.  And the purpose of development is to create an enabling environment for people to enjoy long, healthy and creative lives.  This simple but powerful truth is too often forgotten in the pursuit of material and financial wealth."

Those are the opening lines of the first United Nations's Human Development Report, published in 1990.  The 2002 Human Development Report shows growing divisions between those who prosper in this new world -- and those who do not. 

With most of the people in the world living in poverty.

Since individual country governments are the least likely to report what's ACTUALLY GOING ON within their borders, the United Nations Human Development Report is more likely to be the closest you are going to get to understanding the actual current human conditions on the planet.  Since the report and statistics are lengthy, if you are interested, you will need to visit their site and read at your leisure.

To quote the best summary line in the report: 
    "The level of inequality worldwide is grotesque."
        Source: http://hdr.undp.org/

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Another interesting site worth reviewing is the following, which has 5,000 links to related articles: http://www.globalissues.org/

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Lots and lots and lots of human suffering and misery due to Human Beings preying upon one another, indifferent to the suffering and misery of others as they pursue the fulfillment of their selfish desires and hatreds related to the acquisition of personal wealth, resources, land, power, control.  And of course, as one observes "nature" at work in the world, looking at all other types of Beings, one observes that by design "Beings" in general prey upon one another, murdering one another and devouring one another as food, with always the stronger feeding on the weaker.

A sane person might perhaps conclude that what has arisen, what has been created, is savage, brutal, wretched, perverse, despicable, monstrous, horrific and insane.

And a person shrouded in a state of ignorance with no capacity of empathy might not perhaps see "the world" -- all that has been created -- for what it really is and merely sees only what he or she wants to see.

To again conclude the essence of Fundamental Buddhism:

Everything is a created delusion of fiction.
Everything created is designed, planned, effected and thought out.
All creations are always impermanent.
All creations are fabricated make-believe that is always a state of ill-being.
All creations are always selfless, without essence, illusion, delusion.
All that is created, everything, is subject to stopping, to ending.
And when one is firm in this understanding, one can quickly end all attachments.

And then win the Deathless, thereby coming to closure, ending all anguish, suffering and what is always ill, ending all future becomings, being such and such in a state of make-believe fiction.  And then simply abide in perfect intuitive wisdom and peace of mind, awaiting the final hour of dissolution.

You concentrate on what is inward to bring make-believe fiction to a close.

Self is, this is not.

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FAQ00052
How can someone who is not particularly intelligent benefit from the doctrine of the Buddha.  I have the feeling that if we want to understand it and to reach Nirvana, there is a minimum level of intelligence and ability to assimilate abstract notions necessary.  Is this truly so or are there different versions or approaches according to the intellectual level of the recipient?

There is some minimum level of intelligence required.  However, it should be noted that the Buddha taught at a time when there was no educational system.  Looking at the Pali Canon as a whole, there are many, many short discourses -- different versions or approaches -- that communicated with simple simile, parable and analogy to those who wanted to hear and would listen closely, then analyze and reflect on what they had heard.

Reproducing all the English translations of these Pali Canon discourses within this website is, of course, not the goal of this website but rather our goal is to provide a very concise summary and interpretation of the more than 12,800 pages of those Pali Canon translations.

In addition to the sources listed on our Links page
you might also visit Access to Insight that lists many more sources for Pali Canon texts.  Their resource webpage is http://www.accesstoinsight.org/other.html

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FAQ00053
Having read most of the recommended Pali Canon English translations suggested on your website, I notice that the counter to the winning of the bliss of Nirvana, the state of the undying, the unconditioned, is that of a dark foreboding nature of what has been created, the conditioned, namely a state of evil, of belonging to evil, which is communicated in quite a large number of discourses.  What is your sense of this?

Yes, that sense of something terribly evil definitely permeates through many of the discourses with the strong urging that one needs to escape quickly from what is a created state of evil, belonging to evil.  To use a simplistic metaphor, it almost appears that all that has been created, including all of us Beings, are all in a sense in total the monstrous creation of Doctor Frankenstein.

But in this case, the monstrous creation is a delusion worn like a costume.  Thus, the good doctor has vicariously become its own monstrous horrific bloody creation, something evil, that "perhaps" should have never been conceived of in the first place.

The need for one to understand that THIS IS ILL, namely all that has been created, is emphasized over and over throughout the Pali Canon, with several analogies communicating just how widespread is the ruin of things.

Consider that every "being" or "life-form" born is destined to die within a short period of time.

And what happens during that short period of time of "life"?  Every life-form is committed "to survive" despite the certainty of death.  And the result of this?  For the most part, nearly all life-forms prey upon one another and in turn are preyed upon -- a mass of predation, murder, greed, lust and hatred that leads to a mass of evil deeds in thought, speech and action.

Which then in turn leads to a mass of grief, sorrow, woe, tribulation, despair, misery, suffering, pain, anguish, dying and death, which is readily observed in the 4 trillion "Beings -- Life-Forms" of all sorts just on this one world, just at this single moment in time.

If one reflects deeply on this and then on the vast number of "Life-Forms" that are being reborn every year times the incalculable number of worlds out there throughout the entire universe plus all the different additional realms suggested in the discourses leads to a conclusion that all that has been created is in fact ill, ill-natured and a state of ill-being, which is another way of interpreting what was meant by evil, belonging to evil, which is our sense of the nature of the evil that is being communicated in the discourses.

At some point after a good hard realistic look at ALL that has been created, the good doctor might conclude the following through each of its fabricated points of view -- ALL that has been CREATED is indeed a monstrosity.  And the proof lies in this simple observation of the world that anyone can confirm, summarized in one simple sentence:

In one way or another, nearly all life-forms prey upon another or are preyed upon or both.

Of course, if one has no capacity for empathy for any and all "beings" that are born, and if one does not reflect deeply on what is going on in total within this creation, then one will not any time soon see things as they truly are.  And the way of escape to safety.

To quote the Buddha from a discourse in the "The Udana" text of the Pali Canon:

"There exists, monks, that which is unborn, that which is unbecome, that which is uncreated, that which is unconditioned.

"For if there were not, monks, that which is uncreated, that which is unconditioned, there would not be made known here the escape from that which is born, from that which is become, from that which is created, from that which is conditioned.

"Yet since there exists, monks, that which is unborn, that which is unbecome, that which is uncreated, that which is unconditioned, there is therefore made known the escape from that which is born, from that which is become, from that which is created, from that which is conditioned."

Is now the time to let go of all the attachments that sustain this round of make-believe fiction?  And perhaps the following is the best short mantra to consider?

All that constitutes what is created,
sensuality, life itself, all worlds, all hereafters,
is not mine, not I, not my Self.
My Self shall not build this creation of fiction again.

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FAQ00054
After doing some research on Buddhism as I have been curious for sometime about the religion, I have been intrigued and enthused. However upon reading through your site I feel that your beliefs on Buddhism and its ultimate meanings are quite bitter and seem almost resentful towards non-believers and those uneducated about the religion.  Also, I have found most of your answers to questions posted on your site to be quite repetitive and most of all the seem to avoid the true meanings of the questions, which are quite obvious, by twisting the words around and having short, unenlightening answers such as "No".  More interestingly, I found the answer to the request for pictures to be used on this site to be contradictory. I mean by this that you have stated many times that there is no idea of bad or evil in Buddhism yet in answering that question by posting the picture of the conjoined twins and in how your replied I feel you most definitely expressed the basic idea that 'bad' people are reborn with such disfigurements and handicaps.  How can such a belief exist when there is the belief that there is no bad?  I may have misinterpreted the question and answer but never the less I feel some of your views are extreme variations of the true teachings of Buddha and that they are too focused negatives.  Also as a side note, specifically what changes are people expected to make to their every day lifestyles to abide by the ideas that everything is not permanent and that there is no self?  I would be very interested to hear your feedback to my comments.

Regarding the horrid state of the twins, this was the result of karma.  And all "Beings" reborn are subject to their past deeds as karma dictates new scenarios.  What unfolds is of self's own making.  That said, since all "Beings" are selfless, what is manifested is just the concept of suffering, the concept of pain, the concept of dying and death, the concept of misery, etc, etc.  Self is; Self is not what is conditioned.

Regarding the extreme views of this website and the focus on the negative, you are correct.  Most sites on Buddhism offer simplified Buddhism that fails to convey the serious urgency of the situation of this made conditioned state.  Namely, that all that has been created is in flames, is a self-created insane, contemptible, monstrous, horrific state of make-believe ill-being delusion where one might in one's best self-interest start making a single-focused effort to escape NOW!

Do you think the twins in question might have embraced this viewpoint?

But since "Beings" in general today have little capacity for real empathy toward other Beings, few indeed are going to see this viewpoint until their personal karma changes radically for the worse and for the absurd.  And, of course, most do not think the worse will ever come in this life and most certainly not in the next where everyone is downright sure they are going to be "reborn" in heaven with eternal bliss, regardless of any evil deeds done in this life via thought, speech or action toward other "beings" of any and all types.

Everyone just knows there is "rebirth" in heaven but cannot conceive that "rebirth" is taking place all around them all the time.

Regarding the repetition, this is standard practice in the teaching of Buddhism, as noted in the Pali Canon where there is a tremendous amount of repetition within the discourses.

Regarding what changes are to be expected within one?  Do no evil deeds whatsoever toward other "Beings" and reflect, reflect, reflect on the nature of the lives of every type of "being" on this planet, analyzing and testing to see if the interpretations of Buddhism as noted on this website have merit, would be a good start.  And if one is seeking a happy life, live righteously and then one might expect future scenarios to be happy ones.

Regarding bitterness with the world, this is to be regarded as a significant sign of progress for one who follows fundamental Buddhism.  The Buddha illustrated this with the following Pali Canon discourse:  There was a man in a village born blind.  The attitude of the entire community was that the world did not owe him a livelihood nor did they have to share anything.  The community ostracized the man and he was reduced to a life as a homeless beggar.  This, however, did not satiate the community's hatred and disdain for the least fortunate among them.  They decided to give the blind beggar a filthy wretched robe but told the blind man it was a princely robe of the highest quality.  The entire community relished in contemptuous secret laughter at their deceit as the blind beggar went about with joy over the new  kindness of his community and his fine princely robe.  One day a stranger informed the blind beggar of the true nature of the robe and the despicable deceitful nature of the world around him.  That bitterness of the blind beggar upon realization of the way things truly are is the same bitterness that arises in one who finally sees life, the world at large and all that has been created as it truly is, which is not something to embrace but that which is despicable that should be renounced and abandoned as the ill-created thing it actually is in fact.

One should note that it was at this same point of realization where Siddhartha Gautama finally saw life, the world at large and all that has been created as it truly was, that which is a despicable, grotesque creation full of sorrow, grief, misery, despair, suffering, pain, anguish, sickness, disease, decay, dying and death.

He had a happy life for 29 years as a wealthy prince, husband, father and future heir to a small kingdom.  Now he saw the need to escape from all that had been created as paramount to all else and abandoned his happy life, his wealth, his three palaces, his many servants, his wife, his newborn son, his relatives, his lands, his power, his kingdom and the entire world of all that has been created.

He walked out the door, leaving everything, joining the small number of wandering, homeless religious mystics who were all striving after the same goal:

ESCAPE AND FREEDOM NOW 
from the created through the attainment and realization of the Deathless, the Real.

A common characteristic of most of those who went forth into the homeless state at that time was the same seeing of "the insaneness" of the world, of all that has been created; and then the single focus on finding the permanent way to true freedom, to be won and realized, right here and now, even before death, which ultimately comes to all.

Siddhartha Gautama was the first among those religious mystics to finally win the Deathless.  He became what we call the Buddha.  Most of those at that time who likewise went forth into the homeless state as wandering religious mystics, who were committed to win the very same goal at all costs, quickly won the Deathless, Nirvana, following his teachings and guidance.

Escape and freedom NOW from the conditioned, the created, the made, the become, is the cornerstone of fundamental Buddhism as taught by the Buddha in his discourses that are preserved in the Pali Canon.

All of us have for a long time undergone sufferings, undergone torment, undergone misfortune and have filled the graveyards full, long enough to be dissatisfied with every form of fabricated existence, long enough to turn away from all and free ourselves from them all.

Lastly, one should not overlook the extreme positive view on this website where one could argue that what can be more positive than realizing by perfect intuitive wisdom that Absolute Reality Itself, the singularity that is the unconditioned state itself that is permanent and unchanging in and of itself, is in fact "the self" of all "beings" in this state of delusion, this self-constructed self-made conditioned state.  And that this creation of fiction is self-created, self is the architect of all, self sustains and self perpetuates it, and what is self-created by self can be brought to closure by self; and that decision and that power lies within the self of every "Being" within this state of make-believe, this state of active fantasy.

But, on the other hand, one should not overlook the extreme negative view on this website where we correctly observe the truth that all "beings" are doomed at the instant of birth -- doomed at some point to disintegration, dying and death.  Yet, in that process of "life" all "beings" take delight in "life" and willingly perpetuating a state of ignorance, readily accepting all the sorrow, grief, misery, lamentations, tribulations, suffering, pain, anguish, decay, disease, dying and death as worthwhile in exchange for life, and then perpetuating more of the same, recycle, after recycle, after recycle.

To quote a passage from The Supreme Path, part of A Buddhist Bible by Dwight Goddard, "Seeing that all existing and apparent phenomena are ever transient, changing, and unstable, and more especially that the worldly life affords neither reality nor permanent gain, it is useless to have devoted oneself to the profitless doings of this world rather than to the seeking of Divine Wisdom."

In conclusion, it is our belief that all interpretations within this website do capture the essence of the discourses of the Pali Canon, which are recognized by all Buddhist scholars as the oldest written record of what the Buddha actually said and taught.  Serious followers of Buddhism might ultimately secure their own copies of the English Pali Canon translations for more detailed study and then be his or her own judge on the accuracy of what is communicated within this website.

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FAQ00055
Many Buddhists silently repeat a mantra over and over to themselves as an aid.  What is the best mantra you would recommend?

Every time you see your reflection in the mirror, you might repeat silently to your self, the mantra as follows, which conveys the core of what the Buddha taught:

All creations are not mine, all creations I am not, all creations are not my self.  ALL constituent elements of this creation, of life, of this universe and of ALL worlds in all hereafters, they are not mine, I am not they, they are not my self.  Self is; but this, all else, is but a self-created conditioned state of make-believe fiction.  My Self is not life, not any constituent element that constitutes life nor any constituent element of any world in any here or hereafter.  I am awakening and soon I will be able to say, I am awake.

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FAQ00056
Based on this website's interpretation of Buddhism, what then is the thing worth struggling for?

There would only be one thing worth struggling for, whether in this life or in any future life.  To just slightly paraphrase the Buddha from a Pali Canon discourse translation (in order to make it more clear):

"A person who has raised up mindfulness in front of him, would think: 
'I will not quit reflecting until my mind is freed from all attachments without any residuum remaining for rebirth as anything, whatsoever, anywhere, in anything.' "

Given the transitory impermanent nature of all that has been created, and the inherent state of ill being of all that has been created, there is simply nothing else worth continuing to struggle for.

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FAQ00057
I cannot understand why you cannot rejoice and celebrate life.

Perhaps a simple metaphor.

Think of the planet as being just like a small spaceship that is broken and adrift in space, only just a really big spaceship.  The little spaceship and the really big spaceship, we'll call it, Starship Earth, have identical characteristics.

Limited drinking water, limited air, limited habitable areas to live in, limited resources for survival.  With all the technology and progress most generally marvel in, what is the condition of our spaceship and the condition of most "beings" dwelling here?

A billion people still have no technology that enables them to purify a gallon of contaminated, poisonous or parasitic water.  Two billion people still have no technology that ensures proper levels of food.  Three to four billion people still dwell in abject poverty with few to no assurances of any means ever of a decent livelihood, of proper shelter, of medicine and medical aid, of care when old and incapable of working.

What is there to rejoice and celebrate when our Starship Earth is such a chaotic mess where competition for limited ship's resources is a free-for-all, competition by any means, all "beings" driven by the need to survive at all costs, by the greed for wealth, power, land, control.  What is there to celebrate when those who run "the ship" are indifferent to the lives of all the citizens of our spaceship, claiming the world does not owe them an education, livelihood, food, shelter, clothing, medicine, nor the sharing of the produce of our wonderful technology that benefits only the ones in control of the ship and those driven by greed to acquire no matter what the cost to others?

There are millions of human beings like the above in the world, our spaceship, this very day, dying because those running our spaceship will not ensure there is a sharing of all resources to all people, will not provide education that leads to a guaranteed livelihood, will not guarantee that all people in our spaceship are provided the necessities of life -- shelter, food, clothing, medicine, medical aid, work with dignity and respect.  Go meet with everyone of these dying people, face to face, and look into their dying eyes and ask them, "Tell me, what do you think there is to rejoice and celebrate about life?"

Every moment of every day, the following is heard from those to those less fortunate:
THE WORLD DOES NOT OWE YOU A LIVING.
Our spaceship did not ask that you be born; our spaceship owes you nothing.

Thus, the spaceship, the world, the universe we dwell in: brutal, savage, predatory, monstrous.  The instant one is born, one is destined for grief, sorrow, suffering, anguish, pain, misfortune, despair, woe, lamentations, misery, old age, decay, dying and death.  There is nothing to delight in, nothing to rejoice in, nothing to celebrate.

In order to help one's efforts to escape and win the Deathless, the Buddha advised in many discourses that one should look at the concept and constituent elements of what is life, worlds and hereafters with its addictive nature inherent in all its component elements as a debt, as a prison, as slavery, as a wilderness, as a calamity, as something foul, as a state of pain, as suffering, as anguish, as a sting, as being and belonging to Mara (evil), as being sick, as a canker, as something rotting, as ill-health, as something repugnant, as a mass of ill, as a poison, as something wretched, as an addiction, as a bog, as a blain, as a bondage, as a tangled blight, as something that has no real delight or joy, as a pit of embers (fire), as a boil, as a hurt, as a disease, as a disaster, as a malevolence, as impermanent, as a dart, as something alien, as transitory, as a misfortune, as an affliction, as an imposthume (cyst), as an intoxicating addictive drug, as something shoddily constructed, as decay, as impermanent, as other, as empty, as soulless, as not-self.

In many, many discourses from the Pali Canon, the Buddha made it quite clear that all that has arisen, all life and all worlds and all its constituent elements,
IS A MASS OF ILL !!!

This generation of creations is a creation that is corrupted, degenerated, insidious.  The concept of life with all its worlds and all its constituent parts is a malignancy, a cancer.  It is creation that is a self-created state of fiction that is insane, horrific, monstrous, despicable, vile, contemptible, poisonous.

Beings are ensnared in the delight, attachment and craving for sensuality, being and becoming, delusion and ignorance; from this they are consumed with greed and hatred that in turn leads to perpetuating deeds of evil upon one another with nearly everyone hating somebody and with most hating many, which in turn leads to perpetuating more cycles of birth with "beings" preying upon one another in myriads of ways -- more cycles of life filled with its endemic suffering, pain, anguish, misery, grief, sorrow, unhappiness, despair, torment, agony, old age, decay, dying and death.

A Buddhist who sees all that has been created as it really is, turns his or her mind away from all of it, and having done so, brings the mind towards the Deathless with the thought: "This is the peace, this is the summit, just this, the stilling of all, the renouncing of all birth and rebirth and the basis of what constitutes the elements of life, worlds and hereafters, the destroying of all craving, passionlessness, ending, the cool."  And thus seeing that all is impermanent, just delusion, and not self, snaps the fetters that bind.  And then truly knows, and is one who has the knowing, who comes to the world's end and abides at the world's end, and from that moment, simply awaits the final hour, abiding in perfect intuitive peace, perfect peace of mind.  Done is what had to be done, there is no more being such and such.

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FAQ00058
Regarding the question presented in FAQ00040, "Isn't this a contradiction?".  Is it possible that the confusion on the part of the questioner is based merely on the assumption that Nirvana is indeed a "place" or "created state".  It is my understanding that Nirvana is "The Uncreated" "The Deathless" "The Unborn." Therefore "a being" does not arrive "there" at all as there is no "there" and nothing and nowhere to leave and nothing and nowhere to arrive.  Indeed, There is no being at all!

I did not see this in your answer and noticed that you acknowledged the  contradiction. Perhaps this is oversimplifying the issue or perhaps my thinking is incorrect.

Your answer does nicely simplify the issue and is correct.

In one discourse the Buddha said you could go to the end of the universe and still NOT realize Nirvana; yet, one must end the universe to realize Nirvana.

How would one do that?

If you are this far along in understanding what the Buddha taught, then the following should be understandable.

There is only one singular self, one singular doer, one singular true reality itself.
But there are innumerable points of view and each has two perspectives.

Dispensing with the false perspective, another to the point mantra, similar to the one in the earlier FAQ00055, that might bring one to the door of the Deathless, and which might suspend the delusion of the universe, might be the following:

I am awakening.

All that constitutes what is created,
life itself, all worlds, all hereafters
is not mine, not I, not my Self, not the Self of me.
The Deathless ITSELF alone is, but this, all else, is not but delusion.

I am awakening.

Speaking for this fabricated point of view
this current vast delusion of make-believe fiction,
all of my own making,
is over.

I am awakening.

My Self shall NOT build this creation of fiction again.

I am awakening.

If the perspective changes accordingly, the remaining fetters that bind should cease, views should cease, the universe should cease to be considered real, all because the sustaining of the delusion is stopped, is ended.  What is subject to self-creating and self-perpetuating is subject to self-stopping.  And when delusion stops, there is the incomparable self-realization, self-awakening and self-enlightenment.

The analogy, of course, is the nightmare dream, which the Buddha said one should compare to in order to better understand what is going on here.  When one in the nightmare dream realizes it is a dream, all attachments and passions cease, all fear and anguish cease, all despair and grief cease, all greed and hatred cease.  One is awakening, one is aware that one is awakening, one is aware that the nightmare dream is impermanent, ill, without essence, selfless, fiction.  And one is aware, that indeed, there is no "being" at all within what never existed in truth to begin with.  And when the nightmare dream finally dissolves away, it is finally over, not to renew itself again, not to arise again as anything, whatsoever, anywhere in anything.

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FAQ00059
Ignorance sustains conditioned states; wisdom ends conditioned states.  Could you elaborate more on this?

What is ignorance?

Ignorance is the frog that hops up to the coiled snake and does not know the snake will kill it and devour it as food.

Ignorance is the cow who thinks the farmer or rancher is its friend, giving it regular food and water and a good pasture, and that life is good, not knowing that someday soon the farmer will sell the cow to the slaughterhouse to be killed for food.

Ignorance is seeing life and worlds as something good, when it in fact all is always full of grief, sorrow, despair, suffering, pain, anguish, always ending in old age, decay, disease, dying and death.

Ignorance is believing everything that is seen and felt is what is real; and believing what is neither matter nor immaterial is void, not real, and believing what is void of the constituent components of life and worlds is not real, not the excellent.

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is knowing the snake kills and eats frogs.

Wisdom is knowing that ranchers and farmers raise cows and cattle to be sold to be killed and slaughtered for food for other Beings -- people, dogs, cats.

Wisdom is knowing that life and worlds are all impermanent, ill and without essence, selfless.

Wisdom is knowing that conditioned states are not real and that the unconditioned state is actually the real, the permanent, the excellent, the highest bliss.

When one knows and sees that all the component elements of life, worlds and all hereafters are impermanent, inherently ill, and without essence
 -- devoid of self, not mine, not I, not my self --
ignorance then begins to vanish and knowledge and wisdom begin to arise.

Thus, ignorance is the foundation that sustains conditioned states; and perfect wisdom is knowing, and that knowing leads to detachment, dispassion, which then leads to freedom and closure of what is conditioned, thereby realizing the unconditioned state that is the real, the excellent, the highest bliss.

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FAQ00060
I notice that more movie films seem to be influenced by Pali Canon Buddhist teachings, such as the Matrix Trilogy.

I think people in the movie business have large gaps of time between projects which then enables some of them to be well read, including topics of religion.

The Matrix Trilogy

The producer directors of the Matrix films, the Wachowski Brothers, have been noted to be heavily influenced by Pali Canon Buddhist concepts, which are incorporated into the film.

Note particularly the near final line by Agent Smith in the third film, which was:
"Everything that has a beginning, has an ending."

Note the line in one of the discourses in the Kindred Sayings:
"Whatsoever is of a nature to arise, all that is of a nature to cease."

And note the line in one of the discourses in the Dialogues of the Buddha:
"Whatsoever has a beginning, in that is inherent also the necessity of dissolution."

And then note the near final line by the Architect:
"Those that want out, they will be freed."

Dark City

Writer Director Alex Proyas has stated he is inclined to the religion of Buddhism.  Note the theme in Dark City that all is illusion and self-created.  And, of course, the protagonist, John Murdoch's search for his real self.

Groundhog Day

Written by Danny Rubin, influenced by Buddhist philosophy.  Note the theme of the movie, endless repeating cycles of a Being, a point of view, in this case the protagonist, Phil Connors, where his escape is not even attained by his repeated death.

Vanilla Sky, The 13th Floor, The Truman Show

All have themes of fake, make-believe worlds of false realities.

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FAQ00061
So fundamentally, the Buddha taught that literally everything is but a make-believe puppet show of fiction, a delusion, that has reached a point where all of it needs to finally be abandoned by each Being, thereby enabling each to realize the Deathless that is ITSELF the only true reality.  Is this basically correct?

Yes.

Here is most of a short discourse from the Kindred Sayings translations between the Buddha and a person named Radha that makes the point.

"'A being, a being!' they say, lord.  Pray, lord, how far is one called a Being?"

"That desire, Radha, that lust, that lure, that craving which is concerned with body, entangled thereby, fast entangled thereby, therefore is one called a being.

"That desire, that lust, that craving, that lure which is concerned with feeling, with perception, with activities, with consciousness, entangled thereby, fast entangled thereby, therefore is one call a being.

"Just as when, Radha, boys or girls play with little sand-castles.  So long as they are not rid of lust, not rid of desire, not rid of affection, thirst, feverish longing and craving for those little sand-castles, just so long do they delight in them, are amused by them, set store by them, are jealous of them.

"But, Radha, as soon as those boys or girls are rid of lust, of desire and affection, are rid of thirst, feverish longing and craving for those little sand-castles, straightway with hand and foot they scatter them, break them up, knock them down, cease to play with them.

"Even so, Radha, do you scatter body, break it up [the attachments for it], knock it down, cease to play with it, apply yourself to destroy craving for it.

"So also with feeling, perception, the activities, consciousness, do you scatter each, Radha, break it up, knock it down, cease to play with it, apply yourself to destroy craving for it.

"Verily, Radha, the destruction of craving is Nirvana."

And this from the Gradual Sayings, Book II, slightly paraphrased:

The elements of what has been created are just that, elements, which comprise both what is external to Beings as well as with which Beings are constructed.  "Thus should it be regarded, as it really is, by perfect wisdom: 'This is not of me.  Not this am I.  Not to me is this the self.'"  So seeing it, as it really is, by perfect wisdom, one has revulsion for the elements of what has been created, by wisdom one cleanses the heart of passion.  When a person beholds neither the self or what pertains to the self in the elements, this one is called a monk who has cut off craving, has loosed the bond, and by perfectly understanding this vain conceit [this worthless self-created active fantasy of make believe fiction, a delusion that is empty of any true reality], has made an end of ILL.

Didn't you ever wonder why in Buddhist Tibetan ceremonies that the Mandalas were made of sand?

All that has been created is a round of playing "sand castles" -- all of which is impermanent, ill, self-less.

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FAQ00062
Please don't be offended but-

My suggestion to you is to re-write the entire website and FAQ and remove any caps locks, italics, and bold formatting.

I think you should also re-structure the vast majority of the sentences in the FAQ.

With all of the caps, bold, and strangely formed sentences you really come off sounding like a tent-revival fundamentalist Christian.  I think this frightens off a lot of people right off the bat!  It makes it look like you have a selfish agenda to "convert" people to the "true way"!

I realize it would be quite a project and I am sure the FAQ and website have taken shape over the years but I truly feel a re-write is in order.

Just my opinion!

Thank you for the input.

When writing the summary, admittedly it was overdone with CAPS.  Since unfortunately, we cannot change the other languages done to date within the htm files,  we are going to leave the English summary as is, living with its flaws.

It should be noted that the document and FAQs are not entirely in caps but rather in larger font, 12 and 14 point, which we believe makes it easier to read on a computer screen.  It only appears that the entire document is in caps.  Other people, of course, like smaller print, such as 10 point or even smaller.  Since we find trying to read small print on a small computer screen difficult, we will maintain the bigger fonts for that reason.

The bold within FAQs was meant to separate the question from the response.  Perhaps using color could have been an alternative but we noted other website FAQs' pages used the same methodology separating question from answer.

Regarding rewriting all sentences, certainly others in the world can write more eloquently.  Our writing style is definitely a weakness.

Regarding being fundamentalists, since we are fundamental Buddhists here, then it appears we are coming across accurately as fundamentalists.

On doing complete rewrites, the Summary alone took 10 years to lock down, wanting to be sure every word and sentence accurately captured what the Buddha fundamentally taught as conveyed in the English translations of the Pali Canon, published by the Pali Text Society.  We would not rewrite it not wanting to lose what we were trying to communicate succinctly, although we do admit overdoing the CAPS within that document, but as already noted, will not make that correction at this time.

Rewriting the response sentences in FAQs could similarly lose what we are trying to communicate.  While 10 years has not been spent laboriously considering every word and phrase with each response, they were and are reflected on with the same degree as was the preparation of the summary.  Namely to convey additional focused detail from the Pali Canon not captured within the initial summary.  While not readily apparent, we do change responses regularly, trying to make them more accurate in communicating what we believe needs to be communicated.

Regarding being frightened, certainly the FAQs have more pointed content than the Summary.  Just as it is with the thousands of Pali Canon discourses.  Many discourses are low-keyed, outlining a gradual approach to attaining the highest bliss.  But, it should be noted that many discourses are very frightening, as noted within several FAQ responses on this FAQs page, and we believe the intent was to convey to people to take their situation seriously.

Do we have an agenda?  Most certainly.  If anyone wants an accurate concise understanding of what the Buddha actually taught as noted in the Pali Canon, the oldest record recognized by most Buddhist scholars that conveys  what the Buddha actually taught, then that concise summary is here within this website.

But please do not take our word for it because as we said in the Summary and in FAQs, everyone is encouraged to procure their own copies of the English translations from the Pali Text Society and learn directly from them and then come to their own conclusions.  We believe you will find the content of our Summary and FAQs to accurately summarize what is communicated in the Pali Canon for as we have noted in several places, many of the words, phrases and sentences within our Summary and FAQ responses are pulled entirely from those discourses.

Are we seeking to convert anyone to the one true way?  Neither the Buddha did that nor anyone here does that.  The Buddha was one who showed the way, the path, and the specific discourse on this he used was the analogy where it was just as if someone was giving someone directions to a certain location -- follow this road, then at a fork in the road, turn right taking the right road, not the left, travel on awhile until you see this landmark, then that landmark, go a little further, see that landmark, keep going, see another, and then finally you will reach the destination you seek, a very delightful place.

People sought out the Buddha and asked for directions; he did not travel around pushing his teachings on anyone and he did provide any directions unless requested.  For those who requested directions and who listened, each made their own choice on how well they listened and on whether to follow or not follow those directions.

Likewise, people sought out this website for a summary of those directions.  They choose to read or not to read as they decide, they choose to read carefully or not as they decide, and they make their own choice to follow or not follow directions concisely noted within these web pages. 

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FAQ00063
It seems that one really cannot be involved with "the world" and at the same time hope to win the Deathless.

That would be our conclusion.  To quote from a few lines of the Buddha in a discourse in the Gradual Sayings, Volume IV, the Book of Sevens:

"It befits not to be engrossed in the things of this world.  If a monk has learnt this -- It befits not to be engrossed in the things of this world -- he recognizes each condition; recognizing each condition, he understands each condition; understanding each condition, whatever feeling he feels -- pleasant, painful or neither -- he abides seeing the impermanence of those feelings, viewing them dispassionately, looking at their end, regarding them as something to be renounced.  Living in such contemplation, he cleaves [clings] not to anything in the world; not cleaving to anything, he craves not; not craving for anything, he becomes completely cool in himself; and he knows, Birth is destroyed, lived is the godly life, done is what had to be done, there is no more of this state.

"Verily, in this manner, briefly [stated], a monk becomes freed by craving's destruction, reaching the perpetual end, the perpetual peace from effort, the perpetual godly state, the perpetual finality."

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FAQ00064
You should just see the good of the world and just focus on making the world a better place.

This statement reflects a single thought from many readers.  And begs the question, why would a person who follows real Buddhism, Fundamental Buddhism, see this world or any world, see life or any life, see heaven or any hereafter, see this creation in total or any creation in total,  always as something ill, a thing of ill, a state of ill-being?   Always.  And always remain aloof from it.

To quote a section from "The Book of the Tens" discourses within Book Five of The Gradual Sayings:

"Herein, housefather, the noble disciple thus reflects, 'This being, that is.  By the arising of this, that arises.  This not being, that is not.  By the ending of this, that comes to cease.  That is to say: Because of ignorance, the activities; because of the activities, conscious being; because of conscious being, name-and-shape; because of name-and-shape,  the six centres of sense; because of the six centres of sense, contact; because of contact, feeling; because of feeling, craving; because of craving, grasping; because of grasping, becoming; because of becoming, birth; because of birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation and woe, dejection and despair come into being.  Thus is the arising of this whole mass of Ill.

"'But with the waning and utter ceasing without remainder of ignorance, the ending of the activities; with the ending of the activities, the ending of conscious being; with the ending of conscious being, the ending of name-and-shape; with the ending of name-and shape, the ending of the six centres of senses; with the ending of the six centres of sense, the ending of contact; with the ending of contact, the ending of feeling; with the ending of feeling, the ending of craving; with the ending of craving, the ending of grasping; with the ending of grasping, the ending of becoming; with the ending of becoming, the ending of birth; with the ending of birth, decay-and-death, grief, lamentation and woe, dejection and despair cease to become.

"This is the ending of this whole mass of Ill, and this for him is the Noble Method, well seen, well penetrated by insight."

So exactly what is ignorance -- ignorance of exactly what?

To quote from the next discourse two excerpts from the disciple, a householder, Anathapindika who visited the Jeta Grove Park, which he funded for the Buddha, and while he was there, was talking with other religious wandering mendicants and was asked his view, and this was part of his answer:

"Sirs, whatsoever has become, is put together, is thought out, is dependent on something else, that is impermanent.  What is impermanent, this is Ill.  What is Ill, that is not of me, I am not that, nor for me is that the self -- thus is this matter well seen by me as it really is by right insight; and from that Ill I have come to know to the uttermost the escape, as it really is."

When Anathapindika later went to see the Buddha, and related the conversation with the other wandering religious mendicants and his view thus expressed, the Buddha replied, "Well done, housefather!  Well done, housefather!"

There is good within what is created and there is bad within what is created.

But in the end, all that is created is nonetheless, always impermanent, always a state of ill-being, always selfless.

And all that is created is all but a self-created delusion.

And self-created delusions can be dangerously addictive with the only way out of a self-created state of delusion, make-believe active fantasy worn like a costume, is to end the ignorance by self-realizing "the way things truly are" and discerning the real from the not real.

Only when anyone can understand the above, could one then understand why a person well on his or her way to full SELF-ENLIGHTENMENT OF SELF BY SELF would soon be reaching a point of doing only two things in the world: either teaching fundamental Buddhism as taught by a Buddha to those interested, or dwelling in solitude aloof from the world of self-created fiction.

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FAQ00065
Most people just want to get to heaven.  What does the Buddha say you need to do to obtain this?  And what would it take to achieve a rebirth as one of those Beings that is even HIGHER than an Angel or Deva as noted in the Pali Canon?

The Buddha made it clear that all rebirths in all worlds, even the higher worlds, are also delusion, impermanent, ill and selfless.  That said, to obtain rebirth as an Angel or Deva, as noted in the Pali Canon, requires one to certainly do those parts of the Eightfold Noble Path related to destroying evil states of mind and stopping any future deeds of thought, speech or action that are evil in nature toward other Beings of any kind and then growing good states of mind and doing deeds of thought, speech or action that are good in nature toward other Beings of any kind.  While it is not explicitly stated in the Pali Canon what it would take to achieve an even HIGHER rebirth, it would seem logical that part of what it would take would entail having compassion towards LOTS of other Beings and then creatively performing a deed that demonstrates that compassion.

As we observe the despicable condition of our Spaceship Earth where the poorest of the poor are ignored by those controlling our ship and its wealth, one example worth noting is the 100,000,000 people who are disabled and are too poor to be able to afford any kind of wheelchair.  What good is all the science and wealth if it but benefits only the elite who have it?  No one had seen fit to create a SIMPLE solution out of compassion to help 100,000,000 people who need FREE wheelchairs NOW -- people who have to crawl in the dirt and who are treated with disdain by the powerful, by even the bulk of us, and by even healthy street beggars alike, throughout the world.

One man, Don Schoendorfer, felt compassion and decided to do something about it.  Not too long ago, he invented and built out of common inexpensive parts a sturdy, durable, extremely inexpensive, workable wheelchair, which today can be built and shipped anywhere in the world for a total of $41.17, and then given free to the poor and disabled who need mobility.  He created an organization where their mission is to serve only the poorest of the poor in countries where no government support exists, make these wheelchairs, and get them to the people who need them the most, for free.  Their FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION, listed in our new Category 4 on our links page, has delivered 63,000 to date and has a goal of TWENTY MILLION chairs given away FREE by 2010.

Through compassion, invention, and implementation, this individual out of compassion is mostly certainly fulfilling the tenets of real compassion and loving kindness toward other human beings on a large scale that is clearly demonstrated by thought, speech and action.  Some would think, in their opinion, that this might certainly lend itself toward achieving a rebirth even higher than Angel or Deva, and according to the Buddha, there are such higher Beings in higher worlds and realms.

Regarding a question on if there was something similar in Buddhism like the Ten Commandments, there is.  To quote a section from "The Book of the Tens" discourses within Book Five of The Gradual Sayings on what it takes to recycle next into a purgatory versus a heaven, there are four sets of ten items:

TO BE CAST INTO PURGATORY

"Monks, possessing ten qualities one is cast into purgatory according to his deserts.  He takes life, steals, acts wrongly in sensual desires, is a liar, a slanderer, of bitter speech, an idle babbler, covetous, of harmful thoughts, and has wrong view.

"Possessing twenty qualities, one is cast into purgatory...etc.  He takes life....etc. AND encourages another to do so, etc.

"Possessing thirty qualities, one is cast into purgatory...etc.  He takes life....etc. AND encourages another to do so AND approves of so doing, etc.

"Possessing forty qualities, one is cast into purgatory...etc.  He takes life....etc. AND encourages another to do so AND approves of so doing AND speaks in praise thereof, etc.

TO BE PUT INTO HEAVEN

"Possessing ten qualities one is put into heaven accordingly to his deserts.  He abstains from taking life, from stealing, from acting wrongly in sensual desires, from being a liar, from being a slanderer, from bitter speech, from being an idle babbler, from being covetous, from having harmful thoughts, from having wrong view."

"Possessing twenty qualities, one is put into heaven...etc.  He abstains from taking life....etc. AND encourages another to do so."

"Possessing thirty qualities, one is put into heaven...etc.  He abstains from taking life....etc. AND encourages another to do so AND approves of so doing, etc."

"Possessing forty qualities, one is put into heaven...etc.  He abstains from taking life....etc. AND encourages another to do so AND approves of so doing AND speaks in praise thereof, etc."

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FAQ00066
Are there any other shortcuts to realizing the Deathless?

From "The Book of the Elevens" discourses within Book Five of The Gradual Sayings, there is a similar question as to whether there is one condition to essentially achieve just that.

Basically, the answer is that someone who is aloof from sense-desires, aloof from unprofitable states, enters upon the first musing which is accompanied by thought directed and sustained, born of seclusion, zestful and easeful, and abides therein. 

Then this person thus ponders: This first musing is just a higher product, it is produced by higher thought.  Then he comes to know: Now even that which is a higher product, produced by higher thought, is impermanent, of a nature to end.

Fixed on that, he wins destruction of the fetters that bind.  And if not then and there, by his or her passion for Dharma, by his or her delight in Dharma, by utterly making an end of the five fetters belonging to this world, he is reborn spontaneously into a higher state, and in that state passes utterly away, never to return hither from that world.

This one condition was enunciated by the Buddha, a sort of super short-cut to get to the real.

Likewise, if entering any of the 7 higher states of conscious in reflective meditation, one might arrive at the same point of enlightenment via the same process with the self established.

This is from the last pages of the final Book Five of the Gradual Sayings.

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FAQ00067
What is the common link between Fundamental Buddhism and Science and has science reached a point there is a possible essence common to each?

It appears to us that the common link is the science of Quantum Physics.  We would interpret the essence of each:

Everything is impermanent, without essence, of a nature to end.

 

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Please note that we do not provide more information for reports (everything we have to offer is published on this website -- you will need to go elsewhere in your research efforts, such as the recommended books for further study or other websites), and we in fact do not answer any questions anymore, which tended to be concerned with definitions and comparisons as opposed to grasping the essence of the Buddha's message and realizing its goal. Most of the input from emails and our website form to us for the last several years has been entirely spam. Thus, both were discontinued.

If you want to make a financial contribution to help our efforts in promoting Fundamental Buddhism, send your check to: BUDDHIST INSTRUCTION RETREAT, P.O. BOX 235, ALPHARETTA, GEORGIA 30009-0235 USA. We thank you. With thoughts of well being to you, may you have peace, happiness, good fortune, love, compassion, and most importantly, may you win Nirvana immediately.


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