Intro to Buddhism

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

An Introduction to Buddhism class will be held on the 2nd Friday of each month beginning Jan. 13, 2012, from 7:30PM – 8:30PM (please check the VHBT calendar for updated schedule). Classes are free, and will fulfill the requirements for the Boy Scout Sangha Award, the Girl Scout Padma Award (Cadettes), and the Dharma award (a non-Scouting award open to all). You can also attend any class regardless of your intention to attain an award, i.e., feel free to attend for your own personal enjoyment or education.

Requirements for the awards:

First Stage

BUDDHA

  1. Relate briefly the life of Sakyamuni Buddha and name about five principal events in his life.
  2. Explain what is meant by a Buddha.
  3. Explain in your own words what Buddha means to you in your personal life.
  4. Show that you have provided the necessary daily care of the shrine in your home for at least three months.
  5. Demonstrate the correct method of shrine arrangement.
  6. Show evidence of personal daily morning and evening mediation before the shrine.
  7. Explain and demonstrate correct etiquette and procedures before the shrine, including gassho,
  8. Use of meditation beads (juzu), incense burning, etc; and give the symbolic significance of each.

DHARMA

  1. Explain briefly some of the principal teaching of Buddhism and answer the following:
    • What are the Four Noble Truths? Noble Eightfold Paths?
    • What are the three characteristics of existence?
    • Explain what Buddhist Karma means.
    • What are the eight sufferings?
    • The ten goodnesses?
    • The six paramitas?
    • The five precepts?
  2. State briefly the biography of the founder and the history of your own denomination.

SANGHA

  1. Show that you express Buddhist gratitude regularly before and after meals.
  2. Describe the administration, the organization, and the affiliated organizations of you own local temple.
  3. Show that you attend Dharma School services regularly.
  4. Choice of one:
    1. Plan and complete a project satisfactory to the minister or qualified counselor.
    2. Give twenty-five hours of dana to your temple by any of the following methods:
      • Distribution of temple literature, posters, etc
      • Collection of article, etc. for the needy.
      • Doing errands.
      • Repairing temple property, decorating rooms.
      • Cleaning yard, helping in the kitchen, etc.
      • Clerical services.
      • Others recommended by the minister or qualified counselor.
  5. Know the major activities and the events of your temple and show how you had helped in one or more of them.
  6. Name some of the social welfare activities of your temple and show how you had helped in one or more of them

Second Stage

BUDDHA

  1. Relate the life of Sakyamuni Buddha explaining the spiritual significance of the various events both before and after his enlightenment.
  2. Explain enlightenment and why there could be many Buddhas.
  3. Give the meaning of your shrine symbols.
  4. Reach an understanding with your minister or qualified counselor on “Faith”.
  5. Relate briefly the significance and development of the use of the shrine in Buddhist services.
  6. Give the meaning of the historic Buddhist symbols.
  7. Lead a family service at home for at least seven different times in three months, using Ti-Sarana (Three Treasurers) and any of the following: A sutra of your temple, readings from Dhamapada, passages from the Dharma School text or Young Buddhist Association Service text, or similar text.

DHARMA

  1. Explain the following:
    • The aim of Buddha’s teaching.
    • Enlightenment or Nirvana
    • The Buddhist concept of self.
    • Rebirth (reincarnation and spiritual)
  2. Explain briefly the characteristics of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.
  3. Explain the Three Aspects of Buddha (Trikaya).
  4. Name the sutras used in your temple, and give a brief explanation of the sutras and the fundamental teachings on which your temple is based.
  5. Exemplify in your daily living the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path, the Six Paramitas, and the Five Precepts in the light of the principal beliefs of your temple.

SANGHA

  1. Give the meaning and relate the beginnings of the Buddhist Sangha.
  2. Show that your are giving financial contributions regularly to your temple, as well as attending Sunday services.
  3. Know the history and the administrative organization of your temple system in our country, and include the counterpart of your temple in some foreign country.
  4. Explain what a minister is and how a person may become one.
  5. Show active participation in the youth organization of your own temple.
  6. Give a five-minute talk on Buddhism before a group, or write a 500-word essay on some aspect of Buddhism.
  7. Show ability and willingness to do any one of the following:
    • Lead a Y.B.A.service, Dharma School, Choir.
    • Be on the Dharma School teaching staff.
    • Serve as leading officer of the youth organization.
    • Work as conference committee chairperson.
    • Any other recommended by the minister or qualified counselor.
  8. Describe a few of the present worldwide Buddhist denominations in America.
  9. As a Buddhist, show how through you own daily living you can contribute toward the achievement of harmony among mankind.