Ten Stages Of Buddhism: Siddhartha Gautama, The Buddha

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After reading the chapter on Buddhism, there was many interesting aspect of philosophy that are shown in everyday life. One of these interesting aspects was through Siddhartha Gautama, “the Buddha,” in which we need to look inward on ourselves to find true meaning. This aspect is shown in the ten stages of the zen oxherding pictures, which are shown below. To fully understand what is being depicted in these pictures, a small background of the Buddha needs to be known. The Buddha, whose real name is Siddhartha Gautama was born into a rich family that gave him everything to make him happy. His parents gave him everything because they did not want Buddha to be exposed to the grief and suffering that was shown in the outside world. As Buddha became …show more content…
Before I explain the ten steps of the zen oxherding pictures and the significance of step 8, the empty scene, I am going to explain the meaning of these ten stages of the zen oxherding pictures. These ten stages represent the Zen (Chan) Buddhism wisdom. Depicted in the zen oxherding pictures are the oxherd, which represents our true self and the ox represents the reality that is being sought for (Koller). Overall, the zen oxherding pictures represent the need to find one’s true self by seeking out answers. The first step is the search for the bull, which is when Buddha searched for answers to his questions. The second step is discovering the footprints; this is when Buddha started discovering the means to find his answers. Thirdly, Perceiving the Bull is when Buddha found the answers to his questions, which are the lessons described earlier. The fourth, fifth, and sixth steps, which are Catching the Bull, Taming the Bull, and Riding the Bull Home, are connected in which he finds the answers to his questions, becomes satisfied with these answers, and eventually takes these answers with him. These answers lead him satisfied enough that the seventh step, The Bull Transcended, allows for Buddha to transcend or thinking about the …show more content…
The eighth step of the zen oxherding pictures, is Both Bull and Self Transcended. This step does not illustrate anything; in which it is an empty circle. The empty circle correlates to the time in which Buddha sits underneath of the Tree of Wisdom, where I stopped previously in telling the background of Buddha. Underneath of the Tree of Wisdom, Buddha reaches a state of bliss and utter detachment from the world that is known as nirvana. Nirvana is known “as the annihilation of the ego, a state of emptiness or “no-thing-ness” (Soccio 43). The state of nirvana is hard to put into words, but more easily described in experience, thus it is better understood if someone experiences it. Nirvana is not a place or in reference of going to heaven, but it is a state of mind that goes beyond space, time, and definition (O’Brien). It is comparable to meditation, in which a state of happiness is achieved while conscious and also getting rid of the suffering. By going into nirvana references the fact of going into a state of meditation, when the mind has to be cleared of all events, hence an empty mind. However, why is this emptiness of the mind the eighth step instead of the last one. Nonetheless, Buddha came out of nirvana and chose to help others, this is why there are two more steps of the zen oxherding pictures (Soccio 43). The ninth step is reaching the

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