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Buddhist Practices

Buddhism incorporates a variety of rituals and practices, which are intended to aid in the journey to enlightenment and bring blessings on oneself and others. While some activities are unique to certain expressions of Buddhism, there are others that are found in most of the popular forms of the belief system.

For example, the practice of meditation is central to nearly all forms of Buddhism, and it derives directly from the Buddha's experiences and teachings. Meditation is is the central focus of Zen Buddhism and the only way to liberation in Theravada Buddhism.

In addition to meditation, the Mahayana schools of Buddhism have developed a variety of other ritual and devotional practices, many of which were inspired or influenced by the existing religious cultures of India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Tibet.

With the exception of ordination to the monastic life and funeral rites, life cycle events were regarded as secular affairs for most of Buddhism's history. There is thus no official religious ceremony for milestones like birth, coming of age or marriage as there are in most other world religions.

However, life cycle rituals have developed in Buddhist countries, some of which are generally common to Buddhism worldwide. In addition, once Buddhism came in contact with Western culture, it began to develop its own rituals to mark these events. Today, a variety of rituals have come to be associated with marriage, ordination, and death, which vary significantly between Buddhist schools and geographical regions.

  • Mantras

    Mantras are sacred sounds that are believed to possess supernatural powers, practiced especially in Indian religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism... full article →
  • Meditation

    Buddhist meditation is a form of mental concentration that leads ultimately to enlightenment and spiritual freedom. Meditation occupies a central place in all forms of Buddhism, but has developed characteristic variations in different Buddhist traditions... full article →
  • Monasticism

    Monasticism (the sangha) has been a central practice of Buddhism since the very beginning. full article →

Article Info

Title Buddhist Practices
Published
Last UpdatedJanuary 25, 2017
URL www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/practices
Short URLrlft.co/1191
MLA Citation “Buddhist Practices.” ReligionFacts.com. 25 Jan. 2017. Web. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017. <www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/practices>

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