What is Buddhadhamma


Summarized by Catherine Ibsen for The Bhavana Community of Coastal Carolina

The term Buddhadharma (or Buddhadhamma) refers to the teachings of the Buddha that are at the root of the multiplicity of Buddhist forms, beliefs and practices that have developed over the two and a half thousand years since Siddhartha Gautama outlined them. The Bhavana Community practices in accordance with these teachings.  Feedback welcome at catherine@bhavanacommunity.org

1. Taking Refuge:

We aspire to the role model of the Buddha, we study and practice the teachings (the Buddhadharma), and the community of practitioners (Sangha) serves as our support for these activitie

2. Humanity of the Buddha:

a. Buddha was human and accomplished his awakening through investigation, reason and practice and thus, we too are capable of awakening. We expect to benefit from the wisdom of an accomplished teacher, from studying the teaching and from participating in a community that values the teaching and practices of all varieties of Buddhist traditions.

b. The Buddha abstained from speculation about what he did not know.  In the earliest teachings, there were no metaphysical principles and no orthodoxy, nothing we are required to believe or to have faith in other than what we can experience for ourselves. It is through the practices and the insights that emerge that we can achieve liberation from suffering.  


3. The Teachings: Buddhadharma (S) / Buddhadhamma (P)

a. Understanding and acting on the Four Insights and cultivating the Eight-fold Path lead to peace and happiness in this life. This entails a commitment to the practice of ethics, mental development and wisdom. Letting go of attachments and reactivity, including attachment to views, is a core wisdom practice that is encompassed by the path at many levels. 

b. All phenomena arise and cease in response to causes and conditions. Although we have confidence that the patterns of arising and ceasing of experience can be discerned through the practice of introspection using mindfulness and investigation, we are also aware that our habits and instincts bias and distort what we choose to investigate and the conclusions we draw from those practices. We supplement these practices with observations that are informed by knowledge of these biases so we can see things as they are.

c. The Buddha made three important observations about the nature of things as they are; in Pali, yatha-bhuta nyana-dassana, which is literally translated as "knowledge and vision of things as they are." The first of these observations is dukkha; there is suffering. This is the first insight which became the First Noble Truth. The second insight is anicca(impermanence of all constructed phenomena), and anatta (not-self, the self is just another impermanent constructed phenomena). 

d. Meditation and Path Practice in general are directed toward understanding the world ‘as it is’ and cultivating skillful and wholesome states of mind that lead to skillful and wholesome actions. Skillful and wholesome actions are those that lead away from suffering. The model for these aspirations is a list of 37 qualities that lead to awakening, the Bodhipakkhiya dhamma, and a later list known as the Perfections, the Paramis

4: The Sangha:

a. The community of practitioners, the sangha, was/is more egalitarian than hierarchical. Recognizing that humans are inclined to organize themselves hierarchically, we aspire to an organization based on the moral and personal characteristics exhibited by a serious practitioner of the path. Each follower is encouraged not to believe any point of doctrine until they see for themselves that it is true for them. 

b. We are not to follow any teacher simply because they are the teacher. All practitioners are encouraged to teach and share their wisdom regarding the path for the benefit of the community.

5. Enlightenment/Awakening

 Enlightenment is a way of living with ease in bodies that are of the nature to get sick, old, and die and crafting skillful actions out of honor and respect for the lives of all beings