Discover why Buddhism is such an astonishingly lively and adaptable religion with this series. In just 12 accessible lectures, you’ll learn how Buddhism transformed the civilizations of India and much of Asia, and has now become a vital part of Western culture. Buddhism’s core philosophy, as you’ll learn, is that nothing is permanent – all is change. With this in mind, you’ll plunge into an introductory look at this faith. You’ll unpack the Buddhist idea that all of life is “suffering” and that there is no permanent self. You’ll learn about the life story of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, his teaching (Dharma), and his community of disciples (Samgha). You’ll also gain a clear understanding of key Buddhist terms such as nirvana, tantra, mandala, bodhisattva, and Zen; survey the lives of contemporary, well-known Buddhists such as the Dalai Lama; and examine Buddhist responses to some of the fundamental problems of life-responses that share some surprising similarities and differences with those of other faiths such as Christianity or Islam. These lectures are a chance for you to travel around the world and back in time, surveying Buddhism from its origin in India in the 6th or 5th centuries B.C.E. to the present day. It’s a 2,500-year history that will give you a fascinating window into how a faith can grow from a tiny religious community into a movement that spans the globe.
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