Religious Education: Buddhism - Useful quotes

Useful quotes to use in Religious Education: Buddhism's questions.

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The Buddha's life (1)

The Buddha's birth: "...include a 10 month pregnancy, miraculous jets of water, birth from her side while standing, totally clean; his immediately taking seven steps and proclaiming his mission; a shining light and an earthquake; the attendance and homage of deities..." (Denise Cush)

"The 'sight' of the ascetic represents his decision to renounce the transient pleasure of his life and seek a solution to sickness, old age and death in religious asceticism." (Denise Cush)

"His early life was characterised by luxury, for his father wished that his handsome son should be firmly attached to the adventages of wealth and power" (Andrew Skilton)

"Siddhartha was born into a comparative privilege." (Clive Erricker)

"What is the use of this youth, vitality and strength, if it all ends in this?" (Clive Erricker)

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The Buddha's life (2)

"His father's plans were not to be successful however, for around this time (age 29) the young man began a physical and intellectual exploration of his environment which was to have far reaching consequences" (Andrew Skilton)

"Then Gautama saw a fourth sign, which was to shape his future" (M R Thompson)

"He decided to attempt extreme asceticism as a method to completely destroying attachment to transient existence and breaking through into eternal peace" (Denise Cush)

"Buddha always said 'Don't take what I'm saying, just try to analyse as far as possible and see whether what I'm saying makes sense or not'." (Clive Erricker)

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The Buddha's teachings (1)

"Although the Buddha taught with great authority as one who was utterly convinced he had actually experienced the truth, he stressed that people should not believe just because he said so, but should test out his words by thinking things out for themselves, and their own experience in both meditation and daily life" (Denise Cush)

Dukkha: "This is the Holy Truth of Suffering: birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is short, the five categories affected by clinging are suffering" (Denise Cush)

"Everything is therefore dependent upon other things - nothing exists on its own account" (Denise Cush)

"A person is an impermanent thing, consisting of five skandhas (levels or states of being)"

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The Buddha's teachings (2)

"The Dharma therefore seeks to create the conditions - through mental training, morality and insight - which enable people to grow and to experience freedom and happiness" (Deniser Cush)

"Since everything around you changes, and since you also change, it is foolish to rely on or cling to things around you, expecting them to give you permanent happiness. This only leads to suffering. Learn how to enjoy things just as they are, without trying to own them or stop them from changing" (Denise Cush)

"A person's name is the word which describes the gathering together of the many changing parts that go together to make up him or her" (Denise Cush)

"Ignorance leads to greed because of the failure to realise that the self is illusionary and unfilfilled desire leads to hatred and anger" (Denise Cush)

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Meditation and Puja (1)


"Virtually all schools of Buddhism see meditation as the high road to enlightenment..." (Keown)

"Meditation is central in Buddhism because only through deliberate training of the citta (mind and heart) can only begin to purify the mind of false views, cravings, hatreds, and follow the path which leads to Nirvana" (Denise Cush)

"Meditation may be defined as an altered state of consciousness which is induced in a controlled manner" (Denise Cush)

"An anology can be drawn with swimming - a person learns to swim by swimming, but then rather than stop, swims for the sheer satisfaction and well-being that the exercise provides." (Keown)

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Meditation and Puja (2)


"When Buddhists bow or make offerings, they should genuinely recognise that they aspire to progress by recognising that the ideal lies beyond them in the present, but that is attainable." (Clive Erricker)

"Since the shrine is a symbol of the Buddha's body, the offerings made at it are also symbols of things necessary to sustain human life..." (Clarke & Thompson)

"Puja is showing respect to a great act of dedication to the Buddha's way, and a way of reminding yourself about his teaching. It brings merit and purifies the mind" (Denise Cush)

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The Three Gems

"It is not known how much of the organisation of that community evolved during the Buddha's long life, how much was already current in earlier mendicant groups and how much developed during the following century" (Denise Cush)

"No other religious or non-religious community combines so long a history with so wide an influence and spread" (L. Cousins)

"All Buddhists are equal but some Buddhists are more equal than others" (Gillian Stokes)

"A bhikku, considering wisely, makes use of his robes - only to keep off the cold, to keep off heat, to keep off gadflies, mosquitoes, winds and the sun and creeping creatures and to cover himself decently" (Denise Cush)

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Quotes in general

"Buddhism is about the quest for true happiness and peace for all beings" (Denise Cush)

"Buddhism is a path that seeks to lead individuals from a life constricted by greed, hatred and ignorance, to one liberated by generosity, compassion and insight. Its aim is to overcome suffering and to promote happiness" (M R Thompson)

"The rich diversity of Buddhism reflects the attitude of the Buddha and his followers to what religion is for. It is not a matter of doctrines and commandments, but of finding practical ways of enabling spiritual progress to be made, by different people in different circumstances and at different rates" (Denise Cush)

"Using the analogy of the raft, I have shown you the Dharma as something to leave behind, not to take with you" (Denise Cush)

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