1. Compare the birth stories of Jesus with that of the Buddha ( both miraculous and traditional stories).  How are they similar and how are they different? What mythic motifs are present in both of the stories? What is the purpose of such miraculous stories?  What do these mythic stories tell us about the person, whether it be Moses, Jesus, or The Buddha?
  2. What religious tradition did Siddhartha Gautama (563-483bce) belong to before he began his exploration to end suffering?  What was his caste? What Stage of Life was he in before he began to search for meaning and an end to suffering?  What were the obligations of his caste and life that Siddhartha refused to fulfill? What types of yoga do you think he was  drawn to?  
  3.  What were the ‘Four Sightings’ that put Siddhartha on the path to enlightenment?
  4. Buddhism speaks of the Middle Way.  It is a path between two extremes.  What are these two extremes? What had he discovered about the inadequacies of each path?  How does this idea differ from Hinduism?
  5. Which direction did The Buddha face as he began to meditate? What symbolic qualities does this direction present to us as a type of mythic short-hand, whether it be in Christianity, Native cultures, or Islam?
  6. How did the Buddha die?   What did the Buddha tell his disciples as he was dying?  
  7. What are the ‘Three Jewels’?  What are ‘The Five Precepts‘?
  8.  What were his reasons for avoiding metaphysical questions?  What did the Buddha concentrate on as being the most important questions concerning existence?
  9. ‘The Three Marks of Reality’. What are they? How does the Buddhist view of reality differ from Hinduism?  Specifically, the idea of Brahman and Atman.  What does the Buddha say about the idea of ‘Atman’?
  10. “Dukkha”. What does Buddhism mean by suffering? What kind of suffering affects all of us?  How do we suffer even when we are happy?
  11. “Tanha” What does Buddhism mean by desire?  What specific kind of desire? What does Hinduism say about desire? Do you think Hinduism and Buddhism hold similar views on desire – or not?  Explain your answer.
  12. “The Four Noble Truths”. The absolute core of Buddhist teaching. Explain each of them in your own words. (If you don’t grasp them, remember them, or understand them- you will be unable to pass the examination on Buddhism)
  13. “Eightfold Path” Like a doctor’s prescription.  Can you see similarities in this ‘correct’ path with other religious traditions? Give me an example. 
  14.  “Nirvana’.  How is it similar/different to the Hindu notion of ‘Moksha’?  How are they both different for the notion of ‘paradise? found in western religious traditions?