Religion is a vital part of any human civilization. It is a central power that holds a community together. Beliefs, as one of the key elements of religion, guide the people and shape their social action by setting the norms to be followed or by refraining from some actions. Because they shared the same norms and values, religion is significant in the lives of the people. What differentiates religion from any other social institution is the presence of activities or so-called rituals that is highly organized and has patterned forms of social practices.
These ceremonies made impacts to the persons doing those things. Thus, the religion has a great effect to the personality of the people. (Calhoun, Light & Keller, 1994) Today, we have now reached an age wherein almost everything can be possible. The millennium had turned the innovations and technology far greater as what we had imagined before. Because of this, social condition also evolved and reached a stage we never thought of. There is a sudden increase to the number of deviant actions towards our societal rules and regulations.
Crimes exist almost everywhere. We are troubled every now and then thinking that we are their next victim. Nowadays, it is difficult for us to trust strangers because of the notion that they might do something wrong to us. These changes in our society often result to social tension and stress, taking away our peaceful mind and outlook of life. Social stress is the result if we have difficulties in handling the pressure that the society inflicts to the people. One may suffer to the consequences of it and often result to disoriented personality.
Such problem was always addressed by most of the religion that exist in the world. They try to give answers and solutions to these problems. One of the religions that value the importance of a peaceful way of living is Zen Buddhism. It is one of the existing religions in the world that spread the idea of doing good things above evil. Zen Buddhism teachings promote peaceful lifestyle, thus resulting to a happy and emotional development that leads to a healthier well-being. Buddhism: Looking back to the past Buddhism is one of the major religion our world today.
It comprises around millions of people across the globe and one of the leading religion in terms of number. It consists of complex systems of beliefs and norms that are strictly followed by the people who chose this religion. It had made a great impact to the believers of this faith that’s why it is instilled deeply in the hearts of its followers even though Christianity and Islam had been dominating the world. Tracing back the origin of Buddhism, it is said that it is an offspring of Hinduism. It is founded by Siddhartha Gautama (566?
-480? B. C. ), a rich son of a warrior-king in India. He experienced the pleasure of life in his childhood through young adulthood and was greatly benefited by the social caste which favors the higher class. But upon seeing the reality of life behind the walls that give him wealth, honor and pleasure, wherein he saw an old man, an ill-man, a corpse and ascetic, he left this extravagant life in search for further understanding of the complexities of life. He traveled places across India where he realized some truths about life.
That in the end of all our enjoyment waits the suffering. After all this experience in our life, we are destined to suffer from the consequences we made at the first place. Upon knowing that idea, he abandoned his prince title and isolated himself from the pleasure the world offers. He believed that in doing so, he can comprehend the mystery of sufferings of people. He wanted to have a deeper understanding on how to avoid all those sufferings. He tried to do many things to discover how to escape from those consequences.
Until one day while he was meditating under Bohdi Tree (tree of wisdom) he experienced the highest form of god-consciousness which is Nirvana. He then became know as Buddha or the Enlightened One. He spent the rest of his life traveling across India to teach about Buddhism, were fortunately, he made many audience due to the fact that many of the people are disillusioned to the teachings of Hinduism. Before he died, Buddhism is already a major considered religion in India. (E. J. Thomas, 1975; Van Biema, 1997)