octobersun79 wrote:I wanted to know what peoples views are on a Bodhisattva...
Quite literally, a being on the path to Buddhahood. The Bodhisattva path is mainly a Mahayanist/Vajrayanist path but there is some evidence of the Bodhisatta (pali) path in the Theravada.
Is this someone who is working towards enlightenment and is there a difference between a fully enlightened being and a bodhisattva? How do you know you are a bodhisattva? Do you need to be ordained for instance? Any recommended reading on this particular area?
According to the Theravada, one is a Bodhisatta when one's path to Buddhahood has been predicted by a Buddha. Within the Theravada, one works at developing one's paramitas (perfections) to generate the opportunity to meet a Buddha and for that Buddha to foretell one's eventual Buddhahood. The difference between one working to be a Bodhisatta is that he or she forestalls any development of insight which would lead one to the first stage of awakening (sotapanna) and then setting one's destiny for arahantship within seven lives.
octobersun79 wrote:Also I'm finding all the different schools of Buddhism very confusing, I'm reading a little about Zen at the moment and its like a different religion altogether (ok well maybe not!). I would like to know how you came to choose Theraveda as the school of Buddhism that clicked for you and if you researched many schools before choosing?
I think it was my kamma that led me to my spiritual path. I was attracted to it like a magnet.
octobersun79 wrote:In my view, Buddhism should be about sorting out your issues, becoming purified of all delusions and being a person of infinite compassion for the purpose of helping all other beings to be alleviated from suffering
Within the Theravada the focus is that its about coming out of your own suffering. But as soon as you begin to make some progress on the path there arises a natural inclination to also help others.
octobersun79 wrote:but can be done in day to day life whilst raising a family. What type of Buddhism would this come under or should I not pick a school - after all the Buddha did not have this luxury.
Yes, many of us are householders with family responsibilities. And you will find householders with families in Theravada, Mahayana, Zen and Vajrayana.
octobersun79 wrote:Oh and one more thing, is there a 'beginners guide' to buddhism including all the schools of Buiddhism - just so I know what they are!?
Have a look in the discovering theravada forum as there should be a pinned thread of resources. Another resource (Theravada-based) is www.accesstoinsight.org
. David N. Snyder's site: http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
(Theravada encyclopaedia). Google Peter Harvey's 'encyclopaedia of Buddhism' entries.
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