Thank you for your answer. It is a comfort to feel the compassion of another. If anything good has come of this, one of them is that I have begun to read the books of the Dalai Lama; at first in an effort to understand why my husband was morally able to do this, and second, I began to find great wisdom in his words. Perhaps you could recommend a simple beginners course of study to me. I have looked on the Internet and in bookstores, and there is an overwhelming amount of information. I would like to come to Buddhism as a child might, with the simple truths and teachings first, as the foundation of my study.
I do have legal representation, and am blessed to be surrounded by loving family and friends, including my husband's family. I have been helped by many people, including you, and I am grateful.
I am very relieved to know that you are in good spirit. In times of traumatic circumstances, it takes great character and courage to pull through. You can consider the positive side of this period in that you still have caring friends and relatives to support you. And it looks like you also have the good fortune to understand Buddhism. With these factors intact; time will be the healer.
Now a little bit about what is Buddhism. Buddhism is the name given to the teachings of the Buddha.
What did he teach? He taught us to use our human intelligence to see the world as it really is. He taught us to be masters of ourselves. He taught us to be free from dogmas and commandments. So long as we are fearful of something or someone we are not free. We cannot have peace of mind if we are fearful.
He taught us how to have peace within ourselves. If we do not understand the true nature of the world and this life, we will never experience peace within ourselves.
The Buddha discovered the way to peace and happiness through realizing the true nature of life and this universe. It was more than 2500 years ago in northern India where the Buddha through harnessing the power of his mind realized that if man were to be free of greed, hatred and delusion, he had to look inwards into his mind, and start cleansing his inner defilements. If one reduces one's defilements, one would experience peace and happiness. He discovered that the whole world had certain characteristics and that life continued to exist because of certain causes. This world is very unsatisfactory, because we cannot be fully satisfied in life and that nothing is permanent. He also pointed out that because of our craving for permanent and complete satisfaction, we were always miserable. Furthermore, there are always evil people who are out to create trouble.
The most salient aspect of Buddhism is FREEDOM in its practice. The Buddha encouraged his followers to use their common sense and human intelligence to analyze his teachings before accepting them. He pointed out that there was no super agent who controlled us, punished us and rewarded us. We are not puppets on the strings; and there is no puppeteer up above to manipulate us. The natural law of cause and effect rules the world. No matter who you are and where you are, or what you believe, this universal LAW rules supreme. There is no escape. It is perfectly impartial. In simple language, good begets good; evil begets evil.
So,in Buddhism there is no dogma and no commandment. There is only the guidelines and noble precepts which the Buddha advised us to follow. As diligent Buddhists we use certain precepts to guide our lives. These are the 5 precepts: to refrain from killing, to refrain from stealing, to refrain from committing sexual misconduct, to refrain from telling lies, and to refrain from taking intoxicating substances.
Buddhist teachings are like air. They are free, and non discriminating. If you think it benefits you, then please breathe the air. If you choose otherwise, then it's up to you. This is the "religion" of Buddhism....Truth, Peace, Harmlessness, and Freedom.
To refer to a more traditional rendition of what Buddhism is please surf through the following websites: