Monday, April 19, 2010

Key Church Teachings - Lachlan Harkness 9B


I believe in life; that we are born to live a fulfilled life with love and kindness and the gift of happiness is attainable, meaning we must earn our joy. Although, I accept that the error of humans taint our lives and world.
I believe that we are obliged to show kindness, compassion and gratitude to others in order for us to fulfil our lives.
Life is full of both good and bad happenings but it is up to us how we deal with them and the choices we make to deal with the occurrences in our lives determines who we are.a
The greater a life we lead on earth for others, will be greater in heaven. Through compassion, kindness, love, service and faith we make ourselves worthy.
I believe that our possessions can easily possess us and by keeping our centre or meaning we can live a worthy life that reflects who we are and not the material of us.
I believe in God and the Catholic faith and the belief that we must follow God’s intention for us, so we can join him after our death on earth.
We only die because heaven is not on earth. Because of the evil and temptation here, God chooses to bring us to salvation.
I believe that although everything around us may change, life will always be for happiness and love, not suffering and pain.
We need friends and family to keep us happy and modest, that we need to show love to be loved and that we must sacrifice ourselves for others well deserving.
One’s self is not an individual but a part of this earth so for us and our future generations, we must serve and protect this world to build up the common good.
Overall I believe in happiness, love, compassion, and service. That our life is not finished after death and we must earn what it is good and suffer through what is bad.

happiness Pictures, Images and Photos

My beliefs are important to me because it heavily influences not only who I am, but also what I do in my life. My opinions on the world are influenced by friends, family, the news and religion and thus my life is affected by the world around me. My beliefs present me with character and a view of where I should lead my self and how I can become a better person.


Christ Will Come Again

Jesus Christ' Ascension Pictures, Images and Photos

This line conveys the early Christian’s belief that soon after Christianity began to spread and Christians were persecuted, that Christ would return to earth and judge the world. They believed that the faithful followers would be brought to God’s Kingdom and those who were disloyal would suffer. As we know, Christ did not come then but Catholics do believe that he will return one day to judge and bring us to salvation when the world is at a time of great need.

We Believe in the Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit Pictures, Images and Photos
The Holy Spirit is a part of the Holy Trinity. We believe that the Holy Spirit is the act of God in earth and that it empowers us with the gifts of God and the values of Christianity. This Spirit will help guide us through life, helping us with out decisions in order to keep us faithful. Like the Apostles of Christ, who were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to become strong and faithful followers, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism and Confirmation to embrace and accept its wisdom. Through the Holy Spirit we are lead to Christ’s light and act out on this world as God intended us to. The Holy Spirit is a being to which we can look inward for guidance and help to keep faithful and worthy.

Maker of Heaven and Earth

We believe that God created this earth and all its creation. God made his creation through his will of love and almighty power. He did this over 7 days to which on the 7th day he rested and is our Sabbath. We are put on Earth to care for God’s creation and that we are made in the image of God so that we reflect his goodness and creativity. Because of this, we also believe that we must respect the environment and care for all creations of God, including ourselves. We acknowledge that everything of God’s creation is great and worthy and we must protect and maintain it. We believe that God has created Heaven for salvation of all of God’s faithful followers, for us to be brought to the Kingdom of God after death on earth.


Buddhism is a religion that centres on the concept of inner peace and enlightenment on the world. Members of Buddhism follow in the footsteps of Siddhartha Gautama who they believe reached full enlightenment or ‘awakening’. He is more commonly known as The Buddha and lived and taught sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Today, in a busy world, Buddhism is an appealing religion because it offers peace and calmness along with internal happiness and knowledge.

Values & Morals

Buddhists strongly focus on the concept of eliminating negative values and cultivating positive ones. Through their practise of meditation and their teachings, Buddhists learn to eradicate all hatred, corruption, greed and egotism from one’s self. Through the same technique, along with acting out in the world, Buddhists develop themselves to make compassion, sympathetic joy, love, kindness and equanimity to be a part of one’s self.
Buddhists deeply value the goal of inner peace, relief from suffering and personal development; that through self discipline and meditation they can improve themselves and achieve enlightenment. By creating peace with one’s self, peace around them in the world will come as well.
A very important value to Buddhism to which it is centred is knowledge and realisation. Buddhists aim to reach the level of enlightenment that Buddha himself attained and was ‘awakened’ to the world.

Stories and Literature

Many stories, just like other religions, illustrate to members of Buddhism the morals, ethics and beliefs they should value and enhance.
The stories demonstrate to believers the conscience of the Religion and concepts of what they believe in and why.
Here is a short example of a Buddhist story:
“A student asks Suzuki Roshi why the Japanese make their teacups so thin and delicate that they break easily. “It’s not that they’re too delicate,” he answered, “but that you don’t know how to handle them. You must adjust yourself to the environment. Not visa versa.”
This short story about a question between pupil and teacher illustrates a key belief of Buddhism which is that everything continuously changes, so we must as well. They believe that we cannot expect the world to suite us but we must adapt ourselves to maintain our centre.
Also, this story demonstrates to Buddhists that they must accept the ways of the world and other cultures to remain peaceful and lose their ignorance.
Buddhist literature is basically its sacred texts. These texts are originally written in Pali language which originates from India sometime after the death of Buddha, later being translated into Chinese.

Social Structure

The social structure of Buddhism varies depending on the branch of Buddhism.
Mainstream Buddhism consists of priests and yogis (well educated Buddhists aiding priests but not having to take vows, then laities who are unordained Buddhists.
Theravada (traditional) Buddhism has high priests in order followed by monks and nuns, students and then those practicing the religion.
Tibetan Buddhism has the most referred to Buddhist social structure with the well known Dali Lama at the top, Ponchin Lama (successor) then the monks and nuns ordered by education level and age followed by the general population practising the religion or non-clergy.
Although the religion is centred on equality and individuality, there is a hierarchy throughout the branches of Buddhism strongly based on knowledge, devotion and experience.

Individual Experience

Individual experience has a very important and crucial role in Buddhism. With the aid of knowledge and guidance from the Buddha’s teachings and higher clergy, a member of Buddhism begins a personal journey towards enlightenment.
The practise of Buddhism relies on the mind of a person to be awakened through meditation and self discipline to the world around us.
Buddhism focuses greatly on individuality because they believe everyone has there own, unique experiences to awaken to reality.
Although individuality is a strong point of Buddhism, Buddhists have shared ideas of reality that they focus during the practise of religion.
Buddhists believe that the individual is a part of an interrelated, ever-changing universe and although the individual is separate, it is only the appearance but truly all individuals are connected.
This belief demonstrates that each member has an individual, worldly experience but is still connected to a whole.


Key Buddhist beliefs include:
· The Four Noble Truths
Dukha: Suffering is universal and the meaning of life.
Buddhists believe that because human nature and the world is imperfect it is inevitable that we will suffer in life.
Trsna: The Origin of suffering is attachment to transient objects.
By attaching ourselves to objects and concepts that are not permanent we accept we will inevitably lose it and thus suffering will follow.
Nirvana: It is possible to end our suffering.
Through the unmaking of sensual craving and attachment, along with material passion, we can overcome and eradicate our suffering.
The Noble Eightfold path: The solution to end our suffering.

The Noble Eightfold Path includes:
Right Knowledge: Understanding Buddha’s view of life.
Right Attitude: Goodwill and peacefulness replaces hatred and desire.
Right Speech: Communication should be wise, honest and kind.
Right Action: Live according to Buddhist’s teachings.
Right Livelihood: A Buddhist’s occupation must not harm others.
Right Effort: Making a consistent effort to overcome unhelpful motivations.
Right Mindfulness: Consider all things with care and act with awareness.
Right Meditation: Intense concentration, following the path of Buddha.

Buddhists do not believe in a creator God like other religions.
The world is a cycle of birth, life and death involving a reconstruction of energy. Not like reincarnation as the Hindu belief.
Karma exists, meaning our actions have consequences, not divine judgement though.
Everything existing is ever changing and that we are a part of this change.


Symbolism in Buddhism wasn’t often used during the life and teachings of Buddha until after his death. Early symbols of Buddhism relate to the culture of India because that is where the religion was largely based.

A recognisable and important Buddhism symbol is “The Wheel of Life” which was one symbol used by Buddha. The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) is a complex visual depiction of the Buddhist concept that all things existing continuously change. The wheel basically represents the continuously cycle of birth, life and death. It depicts different karmic actions contributing to a person’s existence in different ‘realms’. This meaning one’s actions affect and reinforce personal characteristics of our life in other ‘realms’.
The wheel shows the path of Nirvana that Buddha had taken and is a visual display of how a person can be set free from suffering.

The Dharmacakra (Eight-spoke Dharma wheel) is a symbol that represents the teachings of Buddha (Dharma).
The numbers of spokes represent various meanings:

8 spokes: Noble Eightfold Path
12 spokes: 12 laws of dependant Origination
24 spokes: 12 laws of dependant Origination and 12laws of Termination.
31 spokes: 31 realms of existence
Its circle shape represents the perfection of the Dharma and its eternal knowledge and worthiness to the world and Buddhists. The Hub also has a very special meaning to the wheel demonstrating that discipline is the centre of meditation and development.


The strong point of Buddhist rituals is individual meditation. Meditation is when a Buddhist puts to practise what they have learnt from the Dharma to develop themselves and continue their journey to Nirvana.
Meditation is central to all forms of Buddhism and is drawn directly from the Buddha’s teaching. The practice is used to awaken one’s mind to realisation of reality and liberate a person from the cycle of life, death and birth.
Mantras are another ritual used by Buddhists, particularly Tibetan Buddhism, which are considered sacred words or sounds. These sounds are believed to possess supernatural powers which assist meditation.
Prayer is also a common ritual for Buddhists as it is a time of appreciation and acceptance for them. These rituals bring a Buddhist further down the path of enlightenment.

Sacred Texts

Buddhist’s sacred texts are, like its literature, divided into canonical (Buddha related) and non-canonical (not Buddha related) texts.
A main Buddhist canonical sacred text is the Tripitaka containing the Buddha’s teaching (Dharma) and it is the earliest recording of his teachings. Theravada Buddhists recognise only the Tripitaka as canonical text demonstrating its importance.
The Tripitaka is separated into three sections called the sutra, vinaya and abhidharma. These three sections are named the three baskets.
Sutra: These texts consist of all speeches or dialogue given from the Buddha or a close disciple.
Vinaya: These texts comprise information of monastic discipline and the origins of these rules. It also contains liturgical and ritual texts.
Abhidharma: The word meaning ‘further Dharma’ and composes detailed phenomenon and relationship between the sutra and vinaya.
A unique aspect of Buddhist sacred texts is that they are not the truth of the religion itself, like Catholicism or Judaism, but a guide to the path of truth.
Also, not all texts are considered as sacred by all Buddhist schools because opinions vary on canonical and non-canonical texts.


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