Life of Buddha:
It was predicted about Siddhārtha Gautama, the royal prince of Kapilavastu, that he would become either a great king or a great ascetic. Therefore his father enveloped him in royal pleasures, shielded him from religious teachings and knowledge of human suffering to avoid any exposure towards asceticism. Despite his father's efforts, Siddhartha encountered an old man, a diseased man, a decaying corpse, and an ascetic. He became pensive and strove to overcome ageing, sickness, and death by living the life of an ascetic. He quit his palace for the life of an ascetic.
Siddhartha Gautama practised and mastered several techniques from fasting to the Vedic Dhyanas. He realized none of them had the means to end the suffering of the negative mind. He finally sat below the Bodhi tree and vowed not to rise until he found the Truth by himself. After 49 days of meditation, at the age of 35, he attained Enlightenment and became known as the 'Buddha' or the 'Awakened One'.
Buddha's original teachings are explanations through Suttas. His Sutta teachings are targeted for an individual who is spiritually ripe to receive them.
Who is spiritually ripe?
Every human is not just two-faced but actually multi-faced. This applies to everyone, without an exception. It is a feature of the Ego. Ego does not have an individual existence of its own. It only comes up in the presence of another. When there is a 'You', there arises an 'I'.
To impress 'you', the 'I' attempts to do and say many things that are 'not'. To seem bigger and better than 'you', the 'I' pretends... pretends to be nice, pretends to be good, pretends to be what it is not. This temporary false face is the Ego.
This Ego creates a lot of suffering because of multiple faces. The individual looks for an escape from this suffering without understanding the root cause of suffering. He starts thinking that Spirituality is an escape from suffering. When you try to escape from what is, then you are trying to escape from reality. Spirituality becomes a go-to shop only for temporary pleasant effect creation. But when he returns home, he is back to suffering. That's why most meditators fail, even those meditating for a long time.
Few intelligent ones start recognizing the fallaciousness of the Ego. The pretence falls on its face when they gather the courage to look the Ego in the eye. They understand that Spirituality is not an escape from Suffering. Spirituality is not a personality development class. Spirituality is not a temporary relaxation pill.
If one is looking for good communication skills, dealing with daily stresses, temporary relaxation techniques, getting rid of physical & mental diseases, then Buddha's teachings might not seem palatable to your needs as the teachings are about BEing with WHAT IS and shun the idea of escapism from reality.
Spirituality is simply the art of BEing with REALITY as it is. It is the art of seeing things as they are; not as you want them to be; not as you want them to not be. Just BE'ing with what IS is Spirituality.
If you have understood Spirituality like this, then you are eligible to join Buddha retreat where we learn the simple techniques of shedding all pretences and BEing with reality as it is;
- being with the reality of the breath AS IT IS without manipulation
- being with the reality of the body-mind complex AS IT IS without manipulation
- being with the reality of awareness AS IT IS without manipulation
Buddha's teachings are catered for those inclined towards 'Awakening' as only such people approached him in those times. If you feel this chimes with the strings of your heart, then enrol for Buddha level 1 sutta reading to help develop the basic foundation for silent techniques. After you complete Semester I, you will be invited to attend the in-person Buddha retreat.
What are the Buddha Levels?
The Buddha Levels 1,2,3,4 are simply structured curriculums designed for step-by-step progression with the teachings. It is recommended for a practitioner who prefers structure to avoid losing himself in the vast ocean of Buddha's teachings.
Un-structured Suttas with video explanations are also available in the individual book links on the My Courses page for the benefit of those who know their way around already in this vast ocean of teachings. Please be advised some videos are yet to be uploaded.
Buddha always said, "Don't believe me! Experiment with your own mind and arrive at your own Truth!" Aapo Deepo Bhava! - Be your own light!
Ready for the experiment?