Stages in the Buddhist Path 信解行證
(There are basically four stages in the Buddhist Path;)
Faith: one begin learning Buddhism, must have faith in the Buddha’s teachings. Begin by self-inquiry on meanings of life, changing and suffering-nature of life, a wish to be free from mental and spiritual sufferings, and wish to attain true lasting happiness.
How to have faith? By study and hearing about Buddhism, by observation, and logical judgment, then you begin to see there is great possibility to find answers in Buddhism.
Understanding: one put forth effort in studying, hearing, and comprehending the true meaning of Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha taught Dharma for 49 years, it’s very difficult for one to study everything and comprehend the true meanings of the teachings, therefore it’s a good idea that one follows a teacher / Guru’s teachings and put in true effort to learn and practice. There is a saying; “if you know one Dharma, you know all Dharma, because, there is only one truth.
Action: One learning by hearing or reading , and have comprehend the true meaning of Dharma, one actually put in effort to practice according to the “Teachings”, including diligent practice on meditations.
Buddha Shakyamuni never claim to be a “God”, or in any religious sense, His teaching of “Dharma” meaning “Truth” or “Law of Truth”, this was not about worshiping of different “entities of higher Power.
Buddhism was an education of Enlightenment, it incorporated as religion about 300 years ago, in order to accommodate worshipers. “, It actually serves as a bridge to entering the Buddhist Path.
The Buddha’s teachings are based on his personal experience, and realizations of the true reality, the Buddha encourage his disciple not to take his words for it, but to apply the methods of his teachings in their daily life, to try and prove, or witness for themselves.
Prove /Confirm: after having faith, true understanding of Buddha-Dharma, one practice correctly and diligently, one can achieves the goal of Enlightenment, absolute joy, bliss, completely freedom from all spiritual suffering and mental contamination. Proven Enlightenment can be attained by everyone, as the Buddha discovered that everyone have Buddha-nature within to begin with.