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Core teachings

Name: Ma Vinitakari & Phyu Wah
Advanced Studies of Vinaya
The core teachings of the Buddhism and teaching methods of the Buddha
The core teachings of the Buddhism and teaching methods of the Buddha
The core teachings of the Buddhism are also called Dhamma. The word Dhamma has
several meanings, such as ‘fundamental elements’, ‘reality’ and ‘universal law’. The core
teachings of the Buddhism lie the Noble Eightfold Paths, the Four Noble Truths, non-self,
dependent origination, action(Kama) and the Nature of rebirth.
The Noble Eightfold Path enables us to overcome our “I”, feel greater harmony with the
world around us and eventually eliminate the pain we often experience. In this path, the Wheel,
symbol of Dhamma, is presented with eight rays depicting the following eight principles: right
view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and
right concentration.
Right View is the first and most important step on the path because we must first understand
the truth of the Four Noble Truths in order to begin our journey. Secondly, right thought follows
immediately. In other words, it suggests that we see things as they are and not as we would like
them to be. Right Speech, Action and Livelihood include moral barriers that prevent lying,
stealing, committing violent acts, and making a living in a way that harms others. These moral
barriers not only help to achieve general social harmony, but also help us to control and eliminate
our sense of “I”. Right Effort is important, because the “I” thrives on in action and the wrong
effort. The last two steps of the path are the Right Mindfulness and the Right Concentration. These
two stages represent the path towards liberation from pain. Being awake and aware at all times, is
fundamental to a good life. This can be achieved in many ways, but in the West the formal practice
is called “meditation” and is the way to achieve Right Awareness and Concentration.
This common core of all Buddhist schools, monasteries and nunneries, is formed by the
four Noble Truths (cattāri ariyasaccāni) and dependent origination (paṭiccasamuppāda). The four
Noble Truths are: the truth of the unsatisfactoriness (dukkha sacca), the truth of the cause of the
unsatisfactoriness (dukkha-samudāya sacca), the truth of the cessation the unsatisfactoriness
(dukkha-nirodha sacca) and the truth of the way leading to the cessation of unsatisfactoriness
(dukkha-nirodha-gamini-paṭipadā sacca).
The last and most misunderstood of the three characteristics is no-self which means anatta,
not-self, egolessness and emptiness which was one of the Buddha’s tools for putting an end to
clinging. Even though he neither affirmed nor denied the existence of a self, he did talk of the
process by which the mind creates many senses of self.
Kamma is a Pali term that literally means "action" or "doing". In the Buddhist tradition,
kamma refers to action driven by intention which leads to future consequences. Those intentions
are considered to be the determining factor in the kind of rebirth in samsara, the cycle of rebirth.
Rebirth in Buddhism refers to the teaching that the actions of a person lead to a new
existence after death, in an endless cycle called saṃsāra. This cycle is considered to be dukkha,
unsatisfactory and painful. The cycle stops only by insight and the extinguishing of craving.
There are lots and lots of teaching methods of the Buddha. They are:
1. Student-Centered Method,
2. Lecture Method,
3. Discussion Method,
4. Pratical Method,
5. Problem Solving Method and
6. The Remedial Teaching Method.
The purpose of the teaching of the Buddha is to create a viable society with social
relationships and to make changes in the attitude of the followers towards oneself and others. The
Buddha has mentioned that a successful lecture should be good at three places: beginning, middle
and end. After the lecture, the students/ Dhamma listeners receive five kinds of benefits:
1. hear what has not been heard,
2. the heard is refreshed,
3. doubts are dispelled,
4. the view is rectified and
5. the mind becomes pleased.
The Buddha has put problem solving method into practice more effectively in the Four
Noble Truth presented to the world and formed or built up.
For the Venerable Purigattatissa who was greatly suffering from a disease of rash, the
Buddha preached the doctrine to him for the realization of the truth after having treated him
properly by washing his wounds and when he got the relief from this pain. For the poor farmer
who was hungry, firstly he was given food and was preached the doctrine, having found solutions
to the physical weakness or disabilities. Later, the doctrine for the super-mundane life has been
preached for the realization of the deliverance of for the benefit of super-mundane life. The method
the Buddha used is Remedial Teaching Method.
Moreover, the Buddha used Practical Method in the story of Kisāgotamī whose son passed
away and who was out of her mind. The Buddha asked her to find sesame seeds from the house
where no one or no family member passed away before. But she could not find because there is no
house where no body died.
Furthermore, Lecture Method was used when teaching thirty brothers of Bhaddhavaggī
who were looking for a stolen lady taken away their jewels. The Buddha was just asking which
finding is better: finding a lady and finding themselves.
In conclusion, the core teachings of the Buddhist and teaching methods of the Buddha play
important roles.