Haven't I Seen You Somewhere Before? Samsara and karma in the Jataka Tales

WEB LESSON Many English speakers are familiar with the Sanskrit word karma, which made its way into the language during the first half of the nineteenth century. It is often used in English to encapsulate the idea that "what goes around comes around." A more complete understanding of the word is brought to life in the stories known collectively as the Jataka Tales. This lesson will introduce students to the concepts of samsara and karma, as well as to the Jataka Tales. MS - HS

Buddhism - An Introduction

WEB RESOURCE & LESSONS This BBC site was written for students. This overview of Buddhism explaining its key beliefs and practices, also has sections on festivals and the holidays of Nirvana Day and Wesek. The Worksheets button links to classroom materials.

Buddhism - Five Faiths Project

WEB LESSON This Ackland Art Museum site from the University of North Carolina features an article on Buddhist beliefs and practices. It links to an object-based lesson, discussion topics, and a set of transcripts of experts discussing religious stories.

Edict on Ashoka

LESSON Ashoka symbolizes one of India's great ages. After years of brutal rule Ashoka felt tremendous regret for the violence he wrought upon his enemies. He converted to Buddhism and embraced the idea of dharma, ruling through righteousness. This lesson supported by The Story of India PBS film reviews the basics of Buddhism and examines how these beliefs influenced his rule of the Mauryan Empire.

Central Ideas of Buddhism

WEB LESSON The Central Ideas of Buddhism unit of study consists of three lessons. Students will (1) read about the life of the Buddha and reflect on some very different ways of defining success; (2) learn about the Bodhisattva ideal and the Bodhisattva Guanyin, the Buddhist "Goddess of Mercy"; and (3), look at the Buddhist view of morality.

Ox-Herding: Stages of Zen Practice

WEB LESSON The ten ox-herding pictures and commentaries presented here depict the stages of practice leading to the enlightenment at which Zen Buddhism aims. They dramatize the fact that enlightenment reveals the true self, showing it to be the ordinary self doing ordinary things in the most extraordinary way. The story of the ox and oxherd, separate at first, but united in the realization of the inner unity of all existence, is an old Taoist story, updated and modified by a twelfth century Chinese Buddhist master to explain the path to enlightenment.