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The Quest of Every Heart

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Seven Pillars of Wisdom
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Acknowledging Contradictions

Identifying the True Light

My Spiritual Journey
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Mike Shreve was a teacher of yoga at four universities. (The portrait above was drawn by one of his students in 1970.) Then a spiritual rebirth brought him into a real relationship with God and drastically changed his heart, his life and his belief system.  Read his story here.

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Site Completed–10/15/01
Major Revision—5/28/03
Last Updated–03/19/09

The True Light Project
P.O. Box 4260
Cleveland, TN 37320
Phone: (423) 478-2843
Fax: (423) 479-2980

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©2002 copyright
Mike Shreve.
All Rights Reserved.


THE WHEEL OF DHARMA - The Sanskrit word dharma means, "that which is established." It refers to both doctrine and duty: the way of life a person embraces in order to achieve enlightenment. Buddhists are taught to take refuge in "the dharma": the teachings of Buddha. It is believed that Buddha's instructions to his disciples 'set the wheel of dharma in motion.'


Around 528 B.C. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (later to be known as Buddha). Siddhartha's father, Suddhodana, was an Indian rajah, the head of the Sakya warrior caste. Legend has it that prior to Gautama's birth, his mother, Mahamaya, dreamed a beautiful silver-white elephant with six tusks entered her womb from the side. The Vedic priests interpreted this to mean that she would have a son who would either be a universal monarch or a great Buddha. Therefore, she named him Siddhartha, meaning one whose aim is accomplished.

Though his family was elite, wealthy and influential, Siddhartha found his royal heritage empty and unfulfilling. He left in search of enlightenment, adopting the life of a wandering monk. Siddhartha rejected traditional Hinduism because he found the Hindu caste system repellant, extreme Hindu asceticism futile and the sensuality of the Hindu gods unacceptable.

The turning point in his life came while meditating under a fig tree (later to be called the "Bodhi Tree"-the tree of wisdom). Siddhartha claimed to receive the experience of Nirvana (enlightenment). Hence, he was called the "Buddha," the "enlightened one." He then began preaching his message of liberation from suffering, an approach he called the "Middle Path." He began with five disciples and taught for about fifty years. He lived to be eighty years old, dying about 480 B.C. There are many sects in Buddhism. Those mentioned in this book include: Theravada, Mahayana, Amidha, Nichiren, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism.

The main sources of Scriptural inspiration for Buddhists are the Tripitaka (the Three Baskets). These are three collections of writings: the Sutra Pitaka (primarily dialogues between Buddha and other people), Vinaya Pitaka (over 225 rules that govern the monastic path), and Abhidharma Pitaka (philosophical and doctrinal explanations and categorizations).

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"In Search of the True Light" 2002 copyright by Mike Shreve.
All articles unless otherwise noted are copyright by Mike Shreve.
Personal Stories are the work of the individuals.
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