An Introduction to Applied Buddhism
Buddhistdoor Global | 2009-10-08 |
AN INTRODUCTION TO APPLIED BUDDHISM
“Applied Buddhism” is the application of Buddhist teachings in our daily life. It is a broad umbrella under which all the essential aspects of life such as physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing as well as philosophical, bioethical, financial and modern scientific aspects could be incorporated. This includes the Buddhist ideas practiced by the three major schools of Buddhist thoughts in modern era, namely the Theravada, Mahayana and Tantrayana (Tibetan) traditions. Apart from the commonly discussed philosophical and psychological aspects, more emphasis is given here on the traditional culture and social aspects of Buddhism. “Applied Buddhism” also shares valuable information on Buddhist contributions to modern science, health and wellbeing. As our concept of wellbeing is directly related to our mental and spiritual health, Buddhist Meditational practices are given the prime importance for prevention of mental illnesses and recommended for incorporation in the regimen of regular psychotherapy and in primary and secondary school curriculum as a part of primordial prevention.
Without disrespecting the significance of religious rituals, the myths and beliefs and traditional local ceremonial practices related to Buddhism are however, carefully extracted and excluded from this domain of “Applied Buddhism”. This is intentionally done in order to make the Buddhist ideas more acceptable to people belonging other religious realms and cultural backgrounds. The idea behind this is to enable people practice Buddhism without being converted into a Buddhist. One should understand that Buddhism is not just a religion, but a way of life. In order to incorporate Buddhist ideas in daily life, one need not give up his or her own religion. Just that one can remain spiritual without being religious, in the same way; one can practice Buddhist teachings without formally accepting the Buddhist religion.
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