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Buddhism teaches discipline, peace

By Elizabeth Nerdig

Eyes closed and totally relaxed, junior Tyler Mace looks like any other student taking a nap in class. However, Mace is focusing his concentration on his breathing, and keeping inner peace. Mace, a practicing Buddhist, is meditating.

Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama in Northern India in the sixth century BCE. Buddhism has several main forms. However, Zen Buddhism is becoming increasingly popular in the west.

“Honestly, I don’t know the types of Buddhism,” Mace said. “I just know what I believe.”

Buddhists believe in Karma, the total of a person’s actions (whether in body, mind, or speech) taken in all their lives, Dharma, a person’s path to enlightenment and the fundamental principles that order the universe, and Reincarnation, or rebirth of someone after death into a new body.

“I personally believe in reincarnation,” Mace said. “Not to the point where you are reincarnated to another animal; but to where you are reincarnated into another life of the same being.”

Reincarnation is one of the biggest beliefs of Buddhism. If after so many cycles of life, death, and rebirth, a person lets go of their attachment to desire and self, they can achieve Nirvana. Nirvana is the final state free from suffering.

“[Nirvana] is kind of hard to explain,” Mace said.

Buddhism has Five Precepts, or rules to live by, similar to the second half of the ten commandments of Judaism and Christianity. They are taught not to kill, steal, lie, misuse sex, or to consume alcohol or other drugs.

“[It is about] thinking before acting,” Mace said.

Some Buddhists believe in the power of prayer, while others do not.

“[I don’t believe] so much [in the power of prayer],” Mace said. “I believe in the power of your own self, instead of a higher being. I believe God to be someone who is watching, not someone who is going to change something for you.”

Despite the low numbers of practicing Buddhists at PGHS, it is the 4th largest religion in the world.

“They are not as small in numbers as people think,” Mace said.

However, Mace has still received some disrespect for his beliefs.

“I just blow it off,” Mace said. “I still respect other people’s beliefs.

Mace has been practicing since he was nine years old, using a book to help guide him. He has a brother who practices it too, but his parents are Christian.

“My parents support it; they support everything I do,” Mace said.

Mace’s practice does not affect how he celebrates typically Christian holidays, though.

“I love Christmas. [I don’t celebrate it] for the religious beliefs, it is just another holiday to me,” Mace said. “Easter is a big celebration in my house.”

Buddhism is mainly just a lifestyle for Mace though, instead of a hard-and-fast religion.

“It is all about thinking before you act, thinking while you act, and taking respect in everything you do and everything that you have,” Mace said.

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    Lucas BaileyMar 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Buddhism encourages a system of behavior that should be practiced by all. I like that Buddhism encourages self reliance and peace, which are all good characteristics in a person. It is also a valid point that Buddhism is similar to other religions in regard t its system of ethical behavior.

  • J

    Jessica TaylorMar 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I had no idea that Buddhism was so popular, let alone so popular in our school. I remember learning a little about it last year in history class so reading this was like a memory refresher. It makes me wonder if some of my friends are Buddhist and I just did not know.

  • C

    Carrie YoungMar 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article because I do not really know that much about other religions besides my own. It is really interesting to learn the details of Buddhism and how it works. I respect anyone’s religious beliefs; it’s their life and they can believe what they want.

  • J

    Joseph PervallMar 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Buddhism is an interesting religion, and the way of life that Buddhists lead is a good one to live. It seems similar to Christianity in terms of morals and values, it basically just feels like the afterlife beliefs and supreme being beliefs are different.

  • D

    Diana O.Mar 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Buddhism is a major world religion and philosophy. Buddhism is a peaceful religion I do not know too much of the religion. Buddhism is related to other religion in their concepts. I completely agree with Haseena in the Five Percepts.

  • O

    Olivia TritschlerMar 4, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I find these religion articles very useful because I don’t know that much about different religions and it opens my mind. I think these are very good because there are too many people these days who argue about different religions and I hope that this information makes them know that some religions aren’t all that different and that people should be more open minded to the fact that everyone is different and has different opinions.

  • R

    Rachel WaymackMar 4, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Buddhism seems like a very peaceful religion and their concepts seem like good ones to live by. I agree with Haseena that it does seem to have very familiar aspects to other major religions.

  • T

    Trey CarterMar 3, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    From what I know about Buddhism, it seems like a very peaceful based religion. As Haseena stated, the religion seems very similar to other religions. They have a heavy focus on tranquility.

  • R

    Raya GirardMar 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Buddist inspired art is also very beautiful and tranquil. That is all I really know about Buddhism. Any religion that inspires people to choose a peaceful path is good.

  • H

    Haseena Abdur-RahmanFeb 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Buddhism’s Five Precepts are similar to alot of religions. I like the fact that they are taught not to kill, steal, lie, misuse sex, or to consume alcohol or other drugs because not only are those positve guidlines to live by, but it also shows just how related other religions and their concepts are through these similarities.