Buddhism - frequently asked questions
Questions people often ask…
What or where is Nirvana?
Nirvana can be difficult to explain or even contemplate because it transcends space and time. In other words, it is infinite and eternal. Buddhist teachings also emphasise that nirvana is a very happy experience.
What factors influence where we will be reborn?
Karma is among the most important factors when it comes to determining where we will be reborn and what sort of life we will live there. Karma means action and applies to our intentional mental actions. In other words, what we are is determined very much by how we thought and acted in the past. Likewise, how we think and act now will influence how we will be in the future.
Gentle, loving people tend to be reborn in one of Buddhism’s heaven realms, where most of their experiences will be enjoyable. However, a Buddha playing the lute of impermanence will remind them that they must still strive for enlightenment.
The anxious or worried person tends to be reborn in a hell realm, where most of their experiences will be unpleasant.
The person who develops obsessive cravings, fierce longings or burning ambitions tends to be reborn as a hungry ghost or as a human being frustrated by longing and wanting.
Many Buddhists focus on how they live here and now, and how strongly they develop the qualities of kindness, awareness and wisdom.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a conscious effort to change how the mind works. The Pali word for meditation is bhavana, which means to make something grow or to develop.
Is there a short definition of what Buddhism means?
The name Buddhism comes from the word budhi, which means to wake up. Therefore, Buddhism is the philosophy of awakening. The faith is now 2,500 years old and has about 300 million followers worldwide. Until a hundred years ago Buddhism was mainly an Asian philosophy. Nowadays, it is attracting a growing number of followers in Europe, Australia and America.