What is Buddhism?


Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development which can lead to Insight into the true nature of life. Buddhist practices such as meditation, the practice of ethics and reflection are a means of changing oneself and ones habits in order to develop qualities such as kindness, awareness, and wisdom. The experience which has been developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow a spiritual path, a path which ultimately culminates in enlightenment or Buddhahood.

Because Buddhism does not include the idea of worshiping a creator God, some people do not see it as a religion in the Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical such as: impermanence (nothing is fixed or permanent); karma (actions have consequences); awakening (positive change is always possible). Buddhism teaches practical methods (such as meditation) which enable people to realize and use its teachings in order to transform their experience, to be fully responsible for their lives and to develop the qualities of wisdom and compassion.

There are over 350 million Buddhists and a growing number of them live in the Western world. They follow many different forms of Buddhism, but all traditions are characterised by non-violence, lack of dogma, tolerance of differences, and, usually, by the practice of meditation.