• Buddhism is a very practical religion that does not promote deification and theology. It is about straightforward and simple truths which, if followed in everyday life, can help people overcome suffering and achieve an inborn sense of happiness. Buddhism is also about respecting other living beings, living peacefully with everyone and being righteous in one’s actions, deeds and thoughts.

    Buddha’s teachings are based on what he experienced and learnt before he attained enlightenment. After he achieved enlightenment, he taught people how to arrive at that enlightenment through their own experience and by following some practical teachings. The very nature of Buddhism makes it so different from other religions. Buddhism believes that instead of memorizing certain doctrines and dogmas and following them to the letter, one should realize the truths of life by practicing the Eightfold Path, which is the broad outline of Buddhist practices.

    While Buddhism does not encourage blindly following rules and principles, it is important to know the teachings and philosophies of Buddha to understand the discipline that Buddhism is all about. The Four Noble Truths are the very foundation of this.

    * Life is suffering
    * Attachment causes suffering
    * To cure suffering, free yourself from attachment
    * The eightfold path will show you the way out of suffering

  • Good morning.

    First, we need to understand that Buddhism is not a “religion” in the sense that most of us in the West consider a religion. But, for the sake of consistency and commonality I generally refer to Buddhism as a religion.

    In my opinion and practice, Buddhism is non-theistic. While most Buddhists deny the existence in a Supreme Being there is no evidence in the sutras stating emphatically there is no universal creator. Buddhism does not say there is or is not a God. Buddhism, as opposed to many religions, is what some would consider “agnostic” in its structure. There may be God or there may be no God. That in and of itself doesn’t matter. What matters is where we are at the present moment–the Now–that ultimately matters.

    The Buddha we tend to identify and venerate (not worship) is the Buddha Shakyamuni. He essentially stated that certain discussions, and the concept of a universal omnipotent being is one, are pointless since they can neither be proved nor disproved. For more information regarding this concept of a universal creator please see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanaponika/godidea.html , http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Secular-Philosophies/If-Theres-No-God-In-Buddhism-Are-Buddhists-Atheists.aspx , and http://www.buddhanet.net/ans73.htm to read some varying Buddhist opinions on this topic. If you follow the hyperlinks you’ll see this topic has varying opinions even within the Buddhist community. Ultimately, it’s up to the practitioner to decide which is correct.

    The core teachings of the Buddha are the Four Noble Truths:
    1. Life means “dukkha” (the term is actually “dukkha” which some translate as “suffering” but does not fully explain the term which is more subtle)
    2. The origin of “dukkha” is attachment.
    3. The cessation of “dukkha” is attainable.
    4. The path to the cessation of “dukkha” exists.

    “Dukkha is a multi-faceted word. Its literal meaning is ‘that which is difficult to bear’. It can mean suffering, stress, pain, anguish, affliction or unsatisfactoriness. Each of the English words is either too strong or too weak in their meaning to be a universally successful translation. Dukkha can be gross or very subtle. From extreme physical and mental pain and torment to subtle inner conflicts and existential malaise.” (from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/8foldpath.htm )

    As it was explained to me, dukkha really implies “out of balance”. This dukkha, this being “out of balance”, exists in life; that the cause of dukkha is attachment (sometimes referred to as “ignorance” or “desire”); that it is possible to end dukkha; that the end to dukkha is attained by self-improvement by following The Eightfold Path (Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration).

    These are, as I understand and in my practice, the essential and basic beliefs of Buddhism. I hope this is of some help.

    May all be at peace.


  • There are many different ‘schools’ of Buddhism and so practices differ. Some think of Buddha as a deity, although most do not. Some believe in ghosts, spirits, demons, most do not. Many believe in reincarnation, some do not.

    But the key elements are the same: that the Buddha observed suffering (or perhaps better ‘discontentment’) in people around him, saw why this was so (the Four Noble truths) and found a way to help people overcome this (the Noble Eightfold Path).

    Buddha himself stressed the need to test out any teaching before applying it and told people not to just blindly follow any path.

    Beyond that it’s a big topic for somewhere such as this. I suggest you look into it and then ask further questions as they occur to you rather than trying to get people to cover everything at once!

    Good luck!

  • No they don’t worship Buddha. Buddha is not a god, there is no god to worship in Buddhism. In a nutshell Buddhist believe that life is basically a condition of suffering. To lessen the suffering you meditate which will make you a better person. You try to evolve in each lifetime by achieving good karma, then you will be reincarnated into the next lifetime, eventually you wish to achieve Nirvana, which is sort of like oneness with the universe.

  • no they dont worship Buddha, he was just a man and he wouldnt want anyone to worship him
    Buddhism is an atheistic religion, there are no gods to worship

    It involves Karma, the concept of being reborn into a creature based on how you lived your previous life

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