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 worshipping a creator God, some people do not see it as a religion in the normal, Western sense. The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. Therefore Buddhism addresses all people irrespective of race, nationality, or gender. It teaches practical methods (such as meditation) which enable people to realise 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.

For more information about Buddhism see the Triratna Buddhist Community website.