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The Dharma Wheel

The Dharma Wheel

Since the past week or so has been all about the “Rules” of Buddhism, I think we’ll finish out this week with some fun stuff. Today, let’s look at the closest thing Buddhism has to a “logo,” the dharma wheel.

Dharma?

Since I have promised repeated not to introduce too many new words, I guess I should explain what dharma is. Dharma is simply the word for “teachings.” The Buddha taught his dharma, and I am passing that dharma on to you. Any Buddhist lesson or text or conversation is dharma. If you learn from it, it’s probably dharma.

As you can see from the image below, the dharma wheel resembles a wagon wheel with eight “spokes.” Each of the eight spokes represents one step on the eightfold path. The circle itself represents the totality or completeness of the dharma (teachings). And just a quick refresher: the Eightfold path consists of right faith, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavor, right mindfulness, and right meditation.

Buddhists borrowed this image from a Hindu symbol that represented “samsara” (the cycle of rebirth/reincarnation), but have re-interpreted the symbol as a wheel the overcomes all obstacles.

The Dharma Wheel For our email subscribers and podcast listeners, you can view this image at http://www.dailybuddhism.com/Images/Dharma_wheel.png

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