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Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy but rather a way of life This does not imply that Buddhism is nothing more than an ethical code it is a way of moral spiritual and intellectual training leading to complete freedom of the mind DeSilva 1991p 5 Of the many Buddhist sects Zen Buddhism places particular emphasis on living the right life and does not revolve around rite and ritual Buddhism outlines the three characteristics of existence which aids one in achieving enlightenment Impermanence selflessness and dissatisfaction are concepts that are easily understood on an intellectual level but to apply these concepts in ones life is challenging Impermanence is concerned with the thought that nothing remains static and change is to be expected Selflessness holds that there is no immortal soul or external Self that exists in each individual Fadiman Frager1994p 545 selflessness is closely connected with impermanence Dissatisfaction is a larger concept entirely- it involves the acknowledgment that suffering exists The world is founded on suffering DeSilva 1991p 21 and once anything becomes a problem there is bound to be suffering unsatisfactoriness or conflict- conflict between our desires and the state of reality Dissatisfaction is the most difficult characteristic of existence to apply to ones life as it involves not only the acceptance of this state but also outlines one on how to treat and cure this state The notion that the world is an ever-changing environment on all levels of existence is not a radical idea In fact those that have not yet accepted change as a natural state of nature is denying the reality of life A being and the empirical world are both constantly changing They come into being and pass away All is in a whirl nothing escapes this inexorable unceasing change and because of this transient nature nothing is really pleasant There is happiness but very momentary it vanishes like a flake of snow and
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