Spiritual Traditions

Buddhism Introduction

buddhism symbolWhat is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a nontheistic religion practiced by around 300 million people worldwide. The word comes from the Sanskrit word 'buddhi', which means to awaken, understand or know. Buddhism originated 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, found enlightenment at 35 years of age.


Is Buddhism a Religion?

While technically a religion, many who practice Buddhism take the practice beyond religion to a way of life.  Really Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion.  The word 'philosophy' comes from the ancient Greek 'philo', meaning love, and 'sophia' meaning wisdom, so love of wisdom.  As Buddhism has a search for enlightenment as its main tenet, it is certainly a philosophy in the truest sense of the term.  The core values of

Buddhism can be boiled down to:

  • - live a moral life,
  • - mindfulness in thought and in deed, and
  • - seek to gain wisdom and enlightenment


Are There Different Types of Buddhism?

While the core teaching of Buddhism is the same the world over, the practice of Buddhism will vary based on local culture and customs.  So yes, there are different types, but they are the same at their core.


Are Other Religions Wrong?

As a belief system,  Buddhism agrees with the moral teachings of other religions and is compatible with all religions.  Buddhism, however, takes religion to a new level by offering a purpose to our existence in this plane, that of wisdom and enlightenment.  While some Buddhists may criticize other religions and philosophies, they do not speak for Buddhism as a whole.





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