The ongoing teachings are exemplified in an understanding and execution of two ideas, which I will briefly describe:
Karma: the Buddhist interpretation is in the words and actions of the individual. It means that good work brings about a good rebirth, and that each rebirth is a reflection of the good living and good deeds in the prior life. That is the deeper meaning of Karma, the Buddhist,and some New Age, thinking. It also applies to actions within one lifetime, what goes around comes around. And while Right Action should be a way of life and fundamentally without expected reward, it is true, I assure you, that Right Action does have its rewards beyond the spiritual satisfaction. So long as it is not an intended consequence, Right Action returns to the giver a hundred fold, a thousand fold!! And Buddhists understand this and practice it as a genuine way of life.
Dharma is the Natural Law governing all. It encompasses all of the individual parts that make up the universe,everything, including the emotions. A partial list: earth, fire, water, air, color, sound, organic life, the senses, impulses, will, reasoning, consciousness, fame, beauty, riches, true and false teachings, sexuality, sleep, hunger, illness, growing, aging and dying. the physical world Dharma is the way to Nirvana,the ultimate achievement and realization of self, the refuge, the eternal. And it is through Right Action, The Eightfold Path, the Four Noble Truths and avoiding extremes that the Buddhist Faith is so tacitly successful. It is an overwhelmingly great faith.
About the Bodhisattva, one who denies himself, the Nirvana, to work for the good of others. He is the helper of all. He postpones becoming a Buddha so that he can help others. Even as a concept, this speaks to the aspirations of the Buddhist.
Thailand is the central economic hub of Southeast Asia and the most developed of the neighbors surrounding it (Myanmar “Burma,” Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia). It hosts a 75% pure Thai population, followed by Chinese (11%) and others. The principal religion is Buddhist (93%) with a Muslim minority (5%).
The most outstanding asset in Thailand is its people, who are very friendly with a genuine helpful attitude towards each other and, especially, towards visitors. I am sure that the warmth of the Thai personality is rooted in the Buddhist faith, which encourages right thinking, moral actions and beneficial social attitudes. The enlightenment goal taught by Lord Buddha is practiced, at least in part, by most Thais. That deep rooted and honorable way of life is the reason that this third world country is more of a developing country than its regional cousins. And, in spite of a now eight year recession, the spirit of the Thais blended with their resourcefulness will insure a recovery and a place of leadership in Southeast Asia. Buddhism contributes much to our quest for World Peace.
Excerpts from a new book, “Looking for a Better World.” Read more at:
Dr. Malkin holds a B.Sc. in Business and a Masters and Ph.D. in Religion. He has made hundreds of visits to schools with a moving and effective motivational presentation, urging teens to do their personal best. His mentoring programs have empowered many, many children. His quest for years has been to teach the power of Right Action, working towards the goal of a better world.
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