In honor of Father’s Day, the June issue of the Ah-Man Newsletter focuses on “The Divine Masculine.” Remember that I am just offering a glimpse of what the Divine Masculine may look like. The Divine Masculine is a path of actions that brings results. So we do certain things to achieve a particular type of result. This is the Masculine. The Feminine, you will recall, is to do nothing and just receive what is already there.
Buddhists are followers of the Buddha, who showed people how to free themselves from the cycle of birth and death through the achievement of enlightenment. He did this by teaching his disciples the Four Noble Truths (see below) and the Eightfold Path (see below), which combines moral teaching with guidelines in meditation and concentration.
Four Noble Truths:
- Life means suffering.
- The origin of suffering is attachment.
- The cessation of suffering is attainable.
- There is a path to the cessation of suffering.
In summary, there is suffering in the material world. We cause our own suffering by becoming attached to (or overshadowed by) people and things. With knowledge of what is real and what is not, cessation of suffering is attainable. The knowledge is found in the Eightfold Path and other scriptures from other religions.The Eightfold Path is made up of eight parts: right thought, right speech, right behavior, right occupation, right effort, right contemplation and right concentration.
Buddhists do not worship Buddha as a god, but rather as a spiritual teacher. Therefore, they do not see him in the same way that followers of other faiths view their god(s).
The Buddha appeared in northern India around the fifth or sixth century BCE. The Buddha was first known as a prince who was to become a great king and/or spiritual teacher.
While traveling outside of the palace, he encountered three different aspects of human suffering (old age, illness and death) and was greatly disturbed by them. He eventually gave up his family and riches to seek enlightenment and to avoid suffering from the cycle of death and rebirth.
There are two main branches of Buddhism: Theravada and Mahayana. Theravada Buddhism, which developed first, adheres strictly to the Buddha’s original teaching through a defined set of scriptures and is know as the “doctrine of the elders.” The practice of Theravada focuses on enlightenment for the individual.
Mahayana Buddhism developed later during the first century BCE. It is more open to different ideas and approaches, using a wider set of scriptures, and emphasizes compassion and enlightenment for the sake of others. Therefore, the Mahayana school is known as the “greater vehicle” and Theravada is known as the lesser vehicle.
The goal of Buddhism is to reach enlightenment. In the Theravada system, it is believed that you have to become a monk in order to attain enlightenment. It is very focused on Self Realization through meditation, following the original scriptures called Tipitaka and monastic life. Theravada Buddhism rejects bodhisattvas (other enlightened ones/teachers), following only the Buddha. Followers of Theravada seek to become saints and believe that to attain nirvana (a state of being free; it literally means “blow out” the fires of greed, hatred and illusion), it is essential to join a monastic order.
So one can see that attaining enlightenment while practicing Theravada Buddhism would be similar to being a priest and attaining Samadhi (a place where the mind becomes very still but does not merge with the object of attention, and is thus able to observe and gain insight into the changing flow of experience.) It would be a monastic life.
On the other hand, the Mahayana Buddhists believe that enlightenment is open to everyone, not just monks. Mahayana Buddhists believe that bodhisattvas can provide an alternative source of inspiration, and help others through compassion and enlightenment. They also believe that in the future, another Buddha will come to revive Buddhism.
In both traditions, you can practice The Divine Masculine by what the Buddhists refer to as Merit. Buddhists believe that when people perform good deeds, they acquire good karma. For lay Buddhists, meritorious actions include helping others, especially the poor and members of the Sangha (community of monks), attending religious services and festivals and practicing the Five Precepts (Prayer, Alms, Offerings, Prostration and Circumambulation).
By taking the actions described above, Buddhists believe they can eventually help stop the cycle of birth and death, which causes suffering.
The beauty of Buddhism is that it can be practiced side by side with all other religions and is open to being practiced with other religions.
To learn more about The Divine Masculine, visit http://www.mythiclove.net/sunyata/divine_masculine.html.