The first of the Four Noble Truths attributed to Buddha is life is suffering (dukkha).
But what is meant by this? Is every moment in life suffering? Am I in perpetual sadness?
Obviously, no. I am happy, or at least not sad at this moment. For most of my life I have been fairly happy and content. I can see that others also are not suffering or in constant pain.
What Buddha meant by this that at any moment we are susceptible to suffering. This susceptibility is what is meant by dukkha.Actual instances pain and happiness are “clues” to impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and the self as an illusion.
The Buddha was born a prince. His mother died soon after giving birth to him. So there is no claim of divinity of any kind. He was an ordinary man with ordinary problems just like you and me. And therefore he is not a god. Nor should he be worshipped as such.
Buddhist iconography was something which arose after his death. And temples are not places of worship. Both of these are created to help us understand his teaching, the dharma, which is we alone can liberate ourselves from unhappiness through attention to the nature of one’s body and mind.
This then means that Buddhism is not about faith but practice. The practice espoused was to look after the mind as much as we look after our body. This Buddhists do through meditation. Meditation does not have any special powers as such but only allows one to focus the mind to see clearly what the mind and body are. Some kind of basic understanding is necessary of course, but essentially it is that everything is impermanent, without self and suffering. Nothing including Buddhism lasts forever. That includes the self which many people cling on to. The self is an illusion. And that is perhaps the greatest of all roots of our suffering. Understand that this is what existence is then we can proceed to find the happiness which does not diminish.
It saddens me that people feel they need to hurt others in order for their pain and dissatisfaction to be heard. Whatever the problem may be there should never be any reason why one should take life even if the human condition is seemingly unbearable. Solutions can only be solved as a collective for we share a reality. We are dependent beings in a common environment at a certain time. So your problem is essentially my problem and we should live with this understanding and find solutions together. You, terrorists, are wrong if you believe you are alone in this world. You, America, too are wrong if you think they alone are the problem. So when we “talk with guns” and not words we are not really talking but shouting in pain, shouting in anger. And no one is listening in such an atmosphere.