In this article, we'll be going over the origins of Buddhism and mindfulness. We'll talk about their connection as well as some practices you can use to help live in the present moment and free of suffering. Who knows, maybe you'll become the next enlightened one!
The Buddha lived from 460 to 380 BCE, and he taught from about 425 BCE until his death. For nearly 40 years. He was born to Maya, and his dad was a clan chieftain. His name was Siddhartha before he became The Buddha. There was a priest who prophesied that Siddhartha would become The Buddha and would become a spiritual teacher.
The story goes that his parents didn't want Siddartha to lead a brahman or priest's life because they don't get married or have children. Brahmans and priests live a life of poverty, but his parents wanted a life of luxury and comfort for their son. They loved him so much that they decided to shield Siddartha from suffering and protect him from the world.
So Siddartha lived for years, sheltered in his home. He never went outside or had any experience with the real world. Then one day, his parents decided to let him take a walk down the street. However, Siddartha's parents didn't want him to experience suffering. Hence, they did their best to clean up the streets and make the surroundings look nothing short of perfect.
However, it turned out that there were people on the street that should not have been there. On Siddartha's journey outside, he came across 4 sites that significantly impacted him. These were an old man, a sick man, a corpse, and an outcast from society (a yogi).
From these 4 experiences came what we know as The Four Sites:
The old man, the truth is that we all age.
The sick man, the truth is that we all experience illness.
The corpse, the truth is that we cannot avoid death.
The Yogi, the truth being a radically different way to face life and live in freedom.
After these four sites, he decided to leave his family and live among the yogis to pursue a radically different way to face life. He tried many different techniques, but none of them helped him until he sat under the Bodhi Tree and came to realize the Five Remembrances.
The Five Remembrances are:
I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape having ill health.