Buddhism Ethics

Buddhist teachings applied to daily life.

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Marriage and Family

All relationships conducted in METTA- loving kindness to all living things.

Love is more important than marriage so sex before marriage is not completely condemed if you are fully commited to a loving relationship. Casual sex is condemed.

Adultery is forbidden as is goes against Precepts 2 and 3.


A Buddhist Wedding Ceremony. No prescribed wedding ceremony.

Remoter Buddhist countries see that once the couple have had sexual intercourse they are married.

Western Buddhists do tend to have marriage ceremonies.Involving- chanting mantras, exchanging rings, acceptence of eachother as parteners, vows and stating of duties.

Women- faithful, work well, hospitable to in-laws, protect family money, be skilful. Men- honour wife, respect, faithful, give her authority, give her jewellery.

Flowers and Light are often offered to images of the Buddha.Key teachings are often stated such as the Precepts and The Three Refuges.

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Family Life

All based on METTA.

Children taught key teachings such as the Four Noble Truths to help them understand Buddhist beliefs.

Children taught to meditate and to understand imagery and statues that are in the Temple, community and homes.

Brought up to believe that following Buddhism is natural and true.

Taught the Five Precepts to live life in an ethical way.

Children often join the Bhikkus and Bhikkunis of the Shanga as part of their education.

To Faciliate education in Buddhism.

Some spend a very short period there others will spend years eventually becoming a fully fledged member.

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Buddhism does NOT ban divorce totally.

Try to apply METTA.

Try reconciliation first.

In some Buddhist weddings marriage is said to be eternal so divorce is destroying this ideal.

Buddhist acknowledge that divorce may be the most loving thing to do in some situations.

In the Four Noble Truths life is of sacred value and an unhappy marriage should not spoil ones life.

Buddhists should aim for an AMICABLE seperation.

Craving (adultery) would be violating TANHA.

Sexual misconduct is against the Five Precepts.

If a partner has been unfaithful it may be seen that they have good grounds for divorce.

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Men and Women

Not male of female dominated religion.

Both men and women can join the Shanga. Monks= Bhikkus Nuns= Bhikkunis

During weddings when men promise authority to their wife...it does not mean she is in charge but that they should share authority in a relationship of equality and love.

Male and Female images of the Buddha.

Female image known as TARA (bodhisattva of compassion). Women often chant to her when in trouble.

Tara takes on different forms.

Green= Budda nature in every vitruous woman.

White= long life.

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Other Religions

Peaceful religion.

Not exclusivist ( do not see Buddhism as the only way) but some see Buddhism as the only way to enlightenment. Varies dependent on individual and Buddhist group.

Inclusivist- acceptance that many religions have features of the truth and are therefore valid.

All humans have Budda Nature.

Buddhists share diologue with other religions such as Islam in the Dalai Lama. States that all religions are aiming to change people for the better.

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Totally against racism.

Buddhists believe that all life is sacred so therefore racism is wrong. Buddhist rejected the caste system and promoted equality.

METTA applies where all lving things should be treated with loving kindness.

The First Precept- should not harm others therefore against prejudice and discrimination.

Noble Eightfold Path- 1. prohibits racist attitude. 3. prohibits racists language. 4. prohibits racist behaviour.

Dalai Lama (spiritual leader in Tibet) believed to be the incarnation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of compassion. Totally opposes racism and harm.

"No one truely benefits from causing harm to another being...The keys to creating a better and more peaceful world is the development of love and compassion."

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