The Buddha taught to all classes, conditions and types of men and women; and, indeed, all beings. He first taught ‘The Middle Way’ the path that lies between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self mortification that are both fruitless demeaning and unprofitable. He then went on to explain exactly what that Middle Way was; namely the understanding of ‘The Four Noble Truths’ and how to put that into practice by walking ‘The Noble Eightfold Path’ in order to, like him, find release from suffering. Soon the Buddha gathered around himself a following ready to give up everything to hear his teachings and put them into practice. Thus was born the Sangha: the community of Buddhist monks and nuns, which from the start was supported by a large lay community.

As a man, the Buddha’s life had eventually to end. He died surrounded by disciples when he was about eighty years old at Kushinara. Naturally, his followers were deeply grieved. His final words to them were: ’All compounded things are impermanent strive on heedfully’ Afterwards, he passed into what Buddhists call his parinirvana or ‘Full Nirvana’, a state that can no more be conveyed in words than his first Nirvana.

The beauty of The Buddhas teachings is that we each can achieve the same wisdom, the same compassion and the same outcomes – we are equal and wise, we simply need to awaken to this and honor it daily through our words and actions.

Peace and Love, Jim

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