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Spiritual Leader - Beginner

B Buddha’s real name was Siddhartha Gautama and he was born a prince around 400 BCE in the area now known as Nepal. His father was a king and did not want Siddhartha to experience the pain and suffering of the world. His father did not allow Siddhartha to leave the palace in an attempt to hide all bad things from his son. One day, however, Siddhartha snuck out of the palace and saw poverty, illness and even saw someone die of old age. These were things that he had never seen before. The pain of others made him think about the meaning of life, death and suffering.Siddhartha returned to the palace but could not enjoy his peaceful palace anymore. He decided to leave his family and comfortable life to find the answers to life’s most difficult questions. Siddhartha left the palace without telling anyone to practice meditation alone in the forest. In his search for answers, Siddhartha stopped eating and his body slowly died. He believed this was an important part of learning the great answers. At one point, a woman saw Siddhartha was looking sick and gave him some food. Siddhartha ate and realized it was a mistake to harm the body to find answers. He began eating again, became strong and decided to follow a ‘middle path’. Not long after this, Siddhartha decided he was ready. He would sit under a Bodhi tree until he learned the answers of the world. For several days, he sat in meditation seeking Nirvana. He was tested three times before achieving his goal and enjoyed a blissful state of mind for several days afterward. When he returned to normal, Siddhartha was now the Buddha, which means ‘enlightened one’, he decided to spend the rest of his life teaching others how to find peace. Buddha traveled around India and Nepal for many years speaking about his ideas. Buddha believed humans are on the Dharma Wheel which he described as the process of life, death and rebirth. The way to stop the wheel and be free from suffering is to practice the Eightfold Path: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Meditation was an important part in following the Eightfold Path. Buddha died of natural causes at the age of 80 in northern India. Source: https://www.biographyonline.net/spiritual/buddha.html

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