Why you will be studying these beliefs and concepts

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1 The Big Picture What you will be studying You will be covering the core beliefs and key concepts within Buddhism, including: The life of the Buddha The Three Universal Truths or Three Marks of Existence (anicca, anatta and dukkha) The Four Noble Truths Kamma, samsara and rebirth The Three Poisons The goal of enlightenment or nibbana The Three Refuges the Buddha, the dhamma and the sangha The Five Precepts Why you will be studying these beliefs and concepts You need to understand the key beliefs and concepts within Buddhism in order to understand why Buddhists behave as they do. When you move on to later topics, the Buddhist practices you study will be based on these beliefs. How you will study these beliefs and concepts At GCSE it is crucial that you don t just learn to repeat what Buddhists believe, but you also learn to think for yourselves. In AO1 questions you might be asked to show that you know and understand Buddhist beliefs. To help you do this you might be asked to explain key ideas, summarise a teaching, or complete a matching exercise. In AO2 questions, however, you will be asked to evaluate these beliefs, and say whether you think they make sense. In order to help you think about these issues you may be asked to participate in a debate, construct both sides of an argument, create charts showing the advantages and disadvantages of a belief or concept, or compare the importance of different concepts. Topic starter 1 Read the article above carefully. All life is suffering There was shock today as the Buddha claimed that everybody was suffering all of the time. The Buddha said that even when we think we are happy we are not really enjoying ourselves, as we are worried about when this will end, and what will come after it. All is not lost, however. The Buddha also claimed to have a cure for suffering. See more on page Think of as many reasons as you can why the Buddha could be right to claim that all life is suffering. 3 Now think of as many reasons as you can why the Buddha might be wrong. Development Before they start looking at the issues in depth, it is important that students have time to reflect on their own initial thoughts and ideas about the topic, as depicted above. Ask students to write down their initial thoughts about each of the following ideas. Make sure they explain their ideas fully, giving reasons for their opinions. 1 Overall, do you think the Buddha was right or wrong? Why? 2 The Buddha claimed to have a cure for suffering. If you lived in the same time as the Buddha, would you be curious enough to go and find out what this cure was? Why/why not? 2 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 2 27/3/09 10:27:00

2 The Big Picture Plenary Choose a number of students to summarise what they think about the issues and what they found others thought. Homework/extension task Find out what your family and friends think about the issues covered in this topic. Ask them to try to give reasons for their opinions. By the end of this unit you should be able to agree with the statements below. AO1 I can explain why key events in the life of the Buddha are important to Buddhists. I can explain what the Three Marks of Existence are. I can explain the Four Noble Truths, and why they are important to Buddhists. I can explain the links between kamma and samsara. I can explain how the Three Poisons keep Buddhists trapped in samsara. I can explain what nibbana is. I can explain what the Three Refuges are, and how they help Buddhists follow the Buddhist path. I can explain how following the Five Precepts might affect the life of a Buddhist. AO2 I can evaluate how the example of the life of the Buddha affects the lives of Buddhists today. I can compare and contrast which of the three marks of existence is of most importance to Buddhism. I can evaluate which of the Four Noble Truths is of most importance to Buddhists today. I can explain whether the concepts of kamma and samsara make sense when combined with the concept of anatta. I can evaluate how the Three Poisons might be overcome within Buddhism. I can evaluate whether nibbana is a desirable goal. I can evaluate the relative importance of the Buddha, the dhamma and the sangha to Buddhists today. I can evaluate the usefulness of the Five Precepts as a moral code. Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 3 27/3/09 10:27:00

3 Lesson focus 1.1 Why is the life of the Buddha important to Buddhists? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore key events in the life of the Buddha. Show why the story of the life of the Buddha is important to Buddhists. Starter Odd-one-out activity display the names Jesus, Muhammad (peace be upon him), Abraham, Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Buddha (these names could be adjusted in the light of material studied at KS3). Ask students to choose the odd one out and explain why. There is no right answer, but teachers may be able to use students answers to draw out the differences between the founders of these faiths as prophets, incarnations of God, etc. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Develop the idea that although the Buddha was not a prophet or incarnation of God, his life story still has importance for Buddhists. Share the life story of the Buddha with students. This could be through textbooks, a worksheet, or a suitable video, e.g. The Life of the Buddha in the Animated World Faiths series by Channel 4. Ask students to select between five and ten pivotal moments from the Buddha s life. Use these to create a fortune line showing how the Buddha was feeling at each point. Less able students could be given a prepared set of events, and asked to record the feelings of the Buddha at these times. More able students could be asked to assess the effect each chosen event had on the life of the Buddha, and rank these events showing which had the most effect on the Buddha. Students could complete the activity on Worksheet 1.1, ranking a range of reasons for the importance of the Buddha s life story to Buddhists. Although there is no right answer, this activity should help to make students aware that some reasons are better or more convincing than others, and help them select better reasons when answering AO2 questions. Plenary Students could be asked to select one of the key events in the life of the Buddha from the first activity, and explain why it might be important to Buddhists. Homework/extension task Students could be asked to research the different views of the death of the Buddha in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, and explain what effect these different views might have on Buddhist perceptions of the importance of the Buddha s life story. 4 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 4 27/3/09 10:27:01

4 Worksheet 1.1 Cut out the triangular cards below. Then decide which one provides the most convincing reason why the Buddha is important to Buddhists, and place it at the top of a pyramid as shown on the left. Then decide which cards provide the next most convincing reasons and place them in the second row. Finally, place the cards with the least convincing reasons on the bottom row. Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 5 27/3/09 10:27:01

5 Lesson focus 1.2 Why did the Buddha teach the Four Noble Truths? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore the Four Noble Truths. Evaluate the importance of the Four Noble Truths for Buddhism. Starter Show an image or range of images of someone suffering. Ask students to explain why this person is suffering. Could this suffering be prevented? How could this suffering be prevented? Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that for Buddhists all life is considered to be dukkha, loosely translated as suffering, but more accurately dissatisfaction with life. The Buddha, however, believed that he knew what caused suffering, and how this suffering could be cured. This teaching was contained in the Four Noble Truths. Use the matching exercise on Worksheet 1.2 to make students aware of the nature of the Four Noble Truths. Ask students to work in pairs to come up with as many suggestions as possible for how believing these truths might affect the life of a Buddhist. Pairs merge into fours, and then fours into eights, to expand their ideas. Students could then select five of these ideas and write them up, showing how the Four Noble Truths are important for Buddhists. Plenary Students select the most important effect of belief in the Four Noble Truths, and explain their choice to a partner. Homework/extension task Students could be given a fact sheet about the Eightfold Path. Weaker students could be asked to explain how each part of the path might be followed in a Buddhist s life. More able students could be asked to evaluate which part of the path might have the most effect on the life of a Buddhist and why. 6 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 6 27/3/09 10:27:01

6 Worksheet 1.2 The Buddha likened the Four Noble Truths to a doctor s diagnosis: a doctor determines that there is a problem, finds the cause of the problem, decides whether there is a cure, and prescribes a course of action to bring about the cure. See if you can match each Noble Truth with its explanation in the table below. First Noble Truth There is dukkha Second Noble Truth There is a cause for dukkha Third Noble Truth Dukkha can be stopped Fourth Noble Truth The way to stop dukkha is by following the middle way, or the Eightfold Path Write out your answers in full below. A Following the Eightfold Path helps us develop a more helpful approach to life, so nibbana can be achieved. B There is suffering all around us. Physical and emotional suffering are common. Even when we are happy, that feeling is shortlived and quickly replaced. C When we accept the world as it really is, we can experience nibbana. Nibbana is a state free of everything except physical dukkha. D We experience dukkha because we are greedy. We crave more then we have. We want more material things, or to spend more time with those we love. We crave to be away from the things and people we dislike. A B C D Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 7 27/3/09 10:27:01

7 Lesson focus 1.3 What are the Three Marks of Existence? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explain the Three Marks of Existence. Evaluate the relative importance of the Three Marks of Existence. Starter Show an image of a baby and an adult. Ask students to analyse what is the same and what is different about a person as a baby and an adult. Add an image of a baby again after the adult. Now ask students what would be the same and different after rebirth. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Point out that students are already aware of one of the three marks, dukkha, from previous lessons. The other two marks are anicca and anatta, no-self and change. Go back to the images from the starter activity, and draw out the idea that for Buddhists the link between baby, adult and rebirth is one of cause and effect rather than a soul or self. Provide a summary of the Three Marks of Existence for students. (Using this information, ask students to design a poster explaining the Three Marks of Existence.) Use the table on Worksheet 1.3 to get students to evaluate the reasons for the importance of each of the Three Marks of Existence, then to reach a conclusion about the most important and provide reasons for their choice. Plenary Create a human bar chart, with students standing in front of the Mark of Existence they believe to be most important to Buddhists. Select some students to justify their choice. Homework/extension task More able students could be given a summary of the Chariot Analogy from the Questions of King Milinda and asked to analyse whether the teaching of anatta makes sense in the light of Buddhist teachings about rebirth. 8 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 8 27/3/09 10:27:01

8 Worksheet 1.3 For each of the Three Marks of Existence, give at least two reasons why it might be considered the most important mark of existence. One idea is given to help you get started. Anatta Anicca Dukkha If we do not accept that there is noself then we are more likely to act selfishly and cause dukkha Now explain which of the Three Marks of Existence you see as the most important for Buddhists, and why.... Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 9 27/3/09 10:27:01

9 Lesson focus 1.4 What is the relationship between kamma, samsara and the Three Poisons? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore how the Tibetan Wheel of Life demonstrates Buddhist teachings about kamma, samsara and the Three Poisons. Explain the link between samsara, kamma and the Three Poisons. Starter Show an image of the Tibetan Wheel of Life. Ask students what Buddhist teachings they think this represents, and how they can tell. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with students. Explain that the Tibetan Wheel of Life can be used as a pictorial representation of many Buddhist teachings, including kamma, samsara and the Three Poisons. Provide a diagram of the Tibetan Wheel of Life for students to label. Less able students could be provided with fully complete labels to cut out and stick on. Middle ability students might be given labels with a starter word, and asked to complete the label themselves using relevant sources of information. Higher-ability students could be given relevant source information, and asked to label the diagram with no additional help. Use Worksheet 1.4 to introduce students to the cycle of samsara, as illustrated by the cycle of dependent origination, and to allow them to make links between kamma, samsara and the Three Poisons. Plenary Ask students to evaluate which parts of the Wheel of Life they find hardest to understand and why. Working in pairs, can they think of any techniques which might help them to understand this area more effectively? Homework/extension task Complete an exam-style AO1 or AO2 question from the SAMs: AO1 Explain how believing in kamma might affect the life of a Buddhist. (6 marks) AO2 The realms of rebirth in samsara are not real. Discuss this statement. You should include different, supported points of view and a personal viewpoint. You must refer to Buddhism in your answer. (12 marks) 10 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 10 27/3/09 10:27:01

10 Worksheet 1.4 You are going to investigate the Cycle of Dependent Origination. 1 Using one colour, highlight all the links that are connected with the Three Poisons. 2 Using another colour, highlight all the links that are connected with kamma. 3 Explain how the cycle of samsara is affected by kamma and the Three Poisons. Link Explanation Symbol in the Wheel of Life 1 Delusion leads to kammic formations. 2 Kammic formations lead to consciousness. 3 Consciousness leads to name and form. 4 Name and form lead to the six senses. Ignorance of the basic nature of life explained in the Four Noble Truths leads us to act. Our thoughts and actions lead to impulses and tendencies. These impulses form our consciousness. Consciousness is what passes from one life to the next. The five khandhas are re-formed, based on the continuing consciousness from the previous life. Blind man Potter Monkey in a tree Boat and four passengers 5 The six senses lead to contact. The presence of form allows us to experience the world through the six senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste and mind). 6 Contact leads to feeling. The six senses allow us to make contact with the objects of the senses. 7 Feeling leads to craving. Making contact allows us to like, dislike or feel neutral about objects. 8 Craving leads to grasping. Feeling like or dislike allows us to crave for experiences, more life or oblivion. 9 Grasping leads to becoming. Craving causes us to grasp at those objects we like, for example, sense pleasures or more life. 10 Becoming leads to birth. Grasping at life causes us to become, or join the process of samsara. House with six openings Man and woman embracing Man with arrow in his eye Man taking a drink from a woman Man picking fruit Pregnant woman 11 Birth leads to suffering, decay and death. Becoming, in the process of samsara leads to rebirth. Childbirth 12 Suffering, decay and death. Birth leads to suffering, decay and death. Corpse Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 11 27/3/09 10:27:02

11 Lesson focus 1.5 What is nibbana? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore the nature of nibbana. Evaluate the way in which nibbana is presented in Buddhism. Starter Write: What would a world without dukkha be like? on the board, and ask students to do a quick sketch or notes of their ideas. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Remind students that nibbana is freedom from most kinds of dukkha (not physical dukkha). They might also need reminding that nibbana can occur within this life, and does not just occur after death (parinibbana describes the nibbana after death). Display the table below and ask students to write a 50-word summary explaining what nibbana is like. Nibbana is not... Nibbana is... A place Somewhere you go when you die Heaven An attitude Freedom from greed, hatred and delusion Seeing the world as it really is Freedom from rebirth Use the quotes on Worksheet 1.5 to explore the nature of nibbana, and evaluate how nibbana is presented within Buddhism. Plenary Revisit the students sketches or notes from the start of the lesson. How accurate a portrayal of nibbana were they? What was good and bad about them? Homework/extension task More able students could be asked to compare the similarities and differences between samsara, nibbana, and parinibbana. 12 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 12 27/3/09 10:27:02

12 Worksheet 1.5 Read the four quotes below about nibbana. 1 What image of nibbana do they present? 2 Does nibbana sound attractive? 3 Which analogy makes most sense to you and why? As medicine protects from the torments of poison, so nirvana [nibbana] protects from the torments of the poisonous passions. Moreover as medicine puts an end to sickness, so nirvana [nibbana] to all sufferings. And these are the ten qualities which nirvana [nibbana] shares with space. Neither is born, grows old, dies, passes away, or is reborn; both are unconquerable, cannot be stolen, are unsupported, are roads respectively for birds and arhats to journey on, are unobstructed and infinite. As the Lotus is unstained by water, so is nirvana [nibbana] unstained by all the defilements. As cool water allays feverish heat, so also nirvana [nibbana] is cool and allays the fever of all the passions. Moreover, as water removes the thirst of men and beasts who are exhausted, parched, thirsty and overpowered by heat, so also nirvana [nibbana] removes the craving for sensuous enjoyments, the craving for further becoming, the craving for the cessation of becoming. Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 13 27/3/09 10:27:02

13 Lesson focus 1.6 Why do Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, the dhamma and the sangha? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explain why the Three Refuges are important to Buddhists. Show how taking refuge might affect a Buddhist s daily life. Starter Show the class the images of the Buddha, a Buddhist scripture, and a bhikkhu, on Worksheet 1.6. Ask students to explain how each of these could help a Buddhist follow the Buddhist path. Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that many Buddhists take refuge in the Buddha, dhamma and sangha in a special ceremony at some stage in their lives. Taking refuge in this sense does not mean running away, but seeking help, support or guidance. Organise the classroom into three (or six) tables. On each table have a large sheet labelled Buddha, dhamma or sangha (two tables for each refuge if using six tables). You may also wish to provide background information on each refuge on the tables if this is available. Divide the class into three (or six) groups ideally mixed-ability groups, so students can support each other. Ask students to record on the sheet how that refuge might support a Buddhist in following the Buddhist path. After ten minutes (adjust according to resources available) ask students to move to another table. They can then comment on the previously recorded information and add to it. After another ten minutes they can move to the final refuge, and repeat the process. Finally they return to their starting point. Using the information from the previous activity, students could now produce a two-minute presentation for the rest of the class, showing how taking refuge in that particular refuge might affect a Buddhist s daily life. Plenary In pairs, students create a list of three ways in which Buddhists might show they have taken refuge in their daily lives. Homework/extension task Prepare for a debate on which of the three refuges is most important in the daily life of a modern Buddhist in Britain. Students could be assigned particular roles within their groups, such as researching reasons to support their refuge, coming up with possible objections from the other refuges, preparing the opening speech and so on. 14 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 14 27/3/09 10:27:02

14 Worksheet 1.6 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 15 27/3/09 10:27:02

15 Lesson focus 1.7 How do the Five Precepts affect the life of a Buddhist? Learning Outcomes This lesson will enable you to: Explore how the Five Precepts affect the life of a Buddhist. Evaluate how useful the Five Precepts are as a source of moral guidance for Buddhists. Starter Ask students to come up with a list of five rules which they think all human beings should follow. They could share these with a partner, and compromise to make a joint list of five rules, merging into groups of four and then eight. Ask students how easy it was to agree on these rules. If it was hard, why was it hard? Development Transition: Share the learning outcomes with the students. Explain that as well as the Eightfold Path that students studied in Lesson 1.1, most Buddhists also follow a moral code known as the Five Precepts. Use Worksheet 1.7 to introduce the idea that these precepts have positive and negative aspects. The activity will help them explore how following the precepts will affect the life of a Buddhist. Weaker students may benefit from a writing frame to help them structure their responses. Following a class discussion, ask students to create a chart showing the positives and negatives of using the Five Precepts as a source of moral guidance. Plenary Go back to the students rules from the starter activity. How different are these from the Five Precepts? Why is there difference? Can they relate the differences to specific Buddhist beliefs? Homework/extension task Students could be asked to compare the usefulness of the Five Precepts and the Eightfold Path as a source of moral guidance. 16 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 16 27/3/09 10:27:02

16 Worksheet 1.7 The Five Precepts are perhaps the most widely used moral code for lay Buddhists. They are considered to explain the concept of Right Action within the Eightfold Path. They can be viewed as having both positive and negative forms. Negative form Do not harm any living being Do not take that which is not given to you Do not engage in sexual misconduct Do not speak untruthfully or gossip Do not take intoxicating substances (e.g. alcohol) Positive form Treat all living beings with compassion Respect other people s belongings, time, etc. Treat sexual partners with respect, and in a way which helps you and them Speak only in a way which helps others and yourself Keep a clear mind, so that you are fully aware of the world around you Imagine you are an agony aunt writing for a Buddhist magazine, and write a response to the problems below remember to use what you know about Buddhist teachings. 1 I would like to go out with my friend s boyfriend should I tell him? 2 My Mum says I am selfish because I never do my share of the housework, but I d rather spend time with my friends that s not wrong is it? 3 I found a wallet with 100 in it. No one knows. Should I keep the money? 4 My friend thinks she is too fat, but she is about the right weight. What should I do? Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 17 27/3/09 10:27:02

17 GradeStudio This unit is about the key concepts and beliefs within Buddhism. Many of these are connected. There are two main problems in addressing questions in this section. Sometimes students responses refer to just the concept asked about in the question and do not show how other concepts might link to that concept. Alternatively, students responses tend to refer to many concepts and do not focus enough on the concept in the question. Getting the balance right is not easy. What you need to do is focus most of your time on the concept specifically asked about in the question, but add a short comment showing that you are aware of the links to other concepts when this is relevant. AO1: Example 1 Examination question: An AO1 question might ask: What are the goals of samsara and how are they achieved? (6 marks) A first response might be that the goal of samsara is nibbana (or enlightenment), or to escape samsara, and that this is achieved by gaining good kamma. While it is true that gaining nibbana is the ultimate aim of all Buddhists, and that gaining good kamma is one step on this path, this is not the whole story. A better response would point out that gaining good kamma might ensure a better rebirth, but trying to gain positive kamma still implies a concern with the world of samsara. Essentially, Buddhists need to reject worldly concerns, and their concern with the world of samsara. In doing so they will still act morally, but do so because it is the right thing to do, rather than to seek good kamma. ACTIVITY Check what you know about nibbana, and how it can be achieved. Using your notes, write a full response to this question. Example 2 Examination question: Explain how believing in kamma might affect the life of a Buddhist. (6 marks) A first response might be that believing that they will be punished for bad behaviour and rewarded for good behaviour might make a Buddhist behave more morally. This is a fair point, but it oversimplifies Buddhist belief about kamma, since there is no one to reward or punish in Buddhism. More specific examples could also be given about how a Buddhist s life might be affected. A better response might be: Kamma is a system where every action has a reaction. This means that a Buddhist knows that everything they do, good or bad, will have a consequence. This might make them more likely to avoid bad or harmful actions since they wish to avoid their negative consequences. Buddhists might also wish to help others who are suffering, because this might result in positive consequences for them. Buddhists might also be less likely to get upset when they suffer because they can accept that it is fair, as they have done bad things in the past. ACTIVITY Write a response in note form to this question. Get another person in the class to review it against the checklist below, while you do the same for their response. If you have done all these things, it will be a good response. Have you explained kamma as a system of action and consequence? Have you given examples of how believing in kamma might affect the moral decisions a Buddhist makes? Have you explained how believing in kamma might affect the way a Buddhist reacts when they experience suffering? Is the response well organised does it read well and make sense? Have you used appropriate technical language? 18 Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 18 27/3/09 10:27:03

18 GradeStudio AO2 In this unit the stimulus statement might ask you to compare different views within Buddhism. For example: The realms of rebirth in samsara are not real. (12 marks) Make and complete a copy of the table below to help you plan a response. Process Understand the issue in the question. Identify different attitudes to the issue. Attitudes do not need to be opposites. You could do this by drawing a spider diagram where you write down anything that could be connected with this issue. Check that you can support the ideas with evidence: knowledge to underpin each view you wish to use. Note this information briefly on the spider diagram. Start writing your response. Begin by telling the examiner briefly what the issue is and then explain the views you have decided to use. Support them with evidence. Conclude with your view, supported with evidence. THINGS YOU MIGHT INCLUDE Samsara is real, otherwise the Buddha would not have taught it. If the realms of samsara are not real, there is no incentive to behave morally in Buddhism. The realms cannot be supported by scientific evidence, so people cannot prove they exist. The realms describe psychological states, so hell realms might represent depression, for example. Religious Studies A: Buddhism Pearson Education Ltd Buddhism.ch01.indd 19 27/3/09 10:27:04

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