A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Enlightenment

That morning when Siddharta arose, he could feel the earth beneath his feet, the sun and wind upon his face and body, the fragrant smell of the blossoms promising the delicious harvest to come. When the young lady brought him the food that morning, she could sense in her heart the transformation that had occurred. Having realized how all of live is interconnected, Siddharta knew he had to spread the knowledge. So he set off for his home city. At or near Deer Park, he came upon the ascetics, who ignored him; after all he had given up. However as Siddharta drew nearer they could see the change in him, he was at peace, content, and radiated a cal serene feeling. They listened to his first talk, “The Turning of the Wheel of Truth”. He explained about the origins of suffering, the need for harmony and compassion, the simple practical method of personal freedom available to all. Upon hearing this, while most of his listeners where mulling it over, one of his former companions instantly understood. He achieved enlightenment on the spot, nothing to memorize and nothing taken on faith, just a serene calm within him. This first lecture consisted of the 4 Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The teachings were referred to as the Dharma(teachings, path, way, doctrine, laws, way to truth, the Buddha’s teachings). Those who were following this path were named the Sangha (assembly or body of believers), and Siddharta would become known as The Buddha.

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