Discuss the reasons that Buddhists embrace an ethic of non-harm.

The Beginnings of Buddhism: The Life of the Buddha

  1. 1.Describe the social context of India in Siddhartha Gautama’s day.
  2. 2.Give a brief outline of the Buddha’s life, according to the legends.
  3. 3.Describe the Buddha’s death and his last advice to his disciples.

The Basic Teachings of Buddhism

  1. 1.What is meant by the Buddha’s “noble silence”?
  2. 2.What were the two most important questions about existence on which the Buddha concentrated?

The Three Marks of Reality

  1. 1.Explain the dimensions of change that the Buddha saw in the world.
  2. 2.How does Buddhism explain the concept of no permanent identity?
  3. 3.Discuss the meaning and scope of suffering in Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths

  1. 1.Explain in your own words the phrase “to live is to suffer.”
  2. 2.Discuss dimensions of desire found in the Second Noble Truth.
  3. 3.How does individualism contribute to suffering?
  4. 4.What degree of enlightenment might a layperson hope to attain in this life?

The Noble Eightfold Path
Relate the eight steps of the path to its three main goals.

The Influence of Indian Thought on Early Buddhist Teachings
What facets of Indian Vedic practice did early Buddhist literature reject?

Ahimsa: “Do No Harm”
Discuss the reasons that Buddhists embrace an ethic of non-harm.

The Soul and Karma
How does Buddhism explain karma and rebirth without a soul?

Nirvana
Discuss your understanding of nirvana in Buddhism.

 The Early Development of Buddhism

  1. 1.Discuss Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism.
  2. 2.What actions are attributed to Ashoka that aided the spread of Buddhism?

Theravada Buddhism: The Way of the Elders

  1. 1.What has been the goal of Theravada regarding Buddha’s teachings?
  2. 2.Describe the importance of the community of monks for Theravada.
  3. 3.What countries have been influenced by Theravada Buddhism?
  4. 4.How do monks and laity serve each other?
  5. 5.Discuss some of the unique features of Buddhism in Thailand (Box Feature).
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