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Zen Buddism

            Buddhism today is a widely practiced religion throughout the world. The religion has developed throughout several thousands years and has been adopted by several countries, including China. It originally began around 565 B.C. with the legend of King Shuddhodana Guatama of Kapila and his queen Maya. They were childless until one night, Queen Maya dreamed of dancing white elephants and became pregnant. As a custom, Queen Maya returned to her own home to give birth. There in the Lumbini Garden, she gave birth to her son, Siddhartha. King Shuddhodana became extremely excited about his son's birth. However, the King heard of a prophecy, which warned him that Siddhartha would either become a great ruler of his kingdom or the enlightened Buddha. Over time, the King worried about the prophecy and wondered if his only son would leave his own home to become a monk.
             As a young child, Siddhartha began learning about civil and military arts. However, the lessons were unsatisfying to him. Instead, Siddhartha became deeply affected from the sufferings of life and began searching for the cause of sufferings and enlightenment. This led him to leave his home and family. He traveled on a quest throughout India seeking for answers to his questions. He struggled for years when different teachers couldn't help him with his cause. However, as a vow to find enlightenment, Siddhartha sat under a tree and through deep meditation, he became the enlightened Buddha. .
             After his enlightenment, many referred to him as Shakyamuni or the "enlightened one". For the next 45 years of his life, Shakyamuni preached to people around the country and asked them to follow his teachings. "The point of the teachings is to control your own mind. Keep your mind from greed, and you will keep your body right, your mind pure and your words faithful. Always thinking of the transience of your life, you will be able to avoid all evils" (Kyokai, Bukkyo).

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