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Exploring Buddhist Teachings and Traditions

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1. Explain the basic Buddhist teachings including the three marks of reality, the Four Noble Truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path.

2. Describe the three major Buddhist traditions - Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana - and how each tradition developed from the early teachings.

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1. Explain the basic Buddhist teachings including the three marks of reality, the Four Noble Truths, and the Noble Eightfold Path.
At its core, Buddhism is a pragmatic and practical religion. Buddha taught that what exists in the observable world is of importance in this faith. Everything can be substantiated by human observation. A central tenant of Buddhism is impermanence. It is understood that the world is not a stagnate entity; it is always changing. Due to the constant changing state of the world, we as humans cannot engage in permanent relationships with anything or anyone. Impermanence has the effect of making humans feel insecure; therefore, Buddhism teaches that when humans let go of the need for permanence and subsequently let go of pain and ego (these three comprising the three marks of reality), nirvana can be achieved.

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