Sunday, October 2 , 2022

How to Become a Buddhist



You may be interested in Buddhism, joining a community or integrating the Buddha’s great teachings. Whatever your reasons, this article will teach you the basics of what you need to know to become a Buddhist.

Siddhartha Gautama, founder of Buddhism and Supreme Buddha of our era, taught that all suffering derives from some sort of desire, whether it be your own or that of those around you. Think about that. How true is that statement? Very true, indeed. How many times has someone wanted a new car or to win the lottery and this doesn’t happen? They are sad. What if someone does get the car or wins the lottery? They’ll get sick of them, want more of what’s out there and inevitably suffer more. For years philosophers and social scientists have pondered how to achieve world peace, and all the while a Nepali prince named Siddhartha Gautama had discovered the solution nearly 2,600 years ago.

The fact is most people are unable to accept this ultimate truth and believe that as long as they have faith in a deity, attend regular assemblies with a congregation, and pretend to follow certain values, that somehow everything will “be all right.”

But you are different because you have chosen to come here, and to read these words. You are ready for change. You may be ready for Buddhism.


01. Read about Siddhartha Gautama the “Awakened one”, the father of Buddhism.



02. Learn about the Buddha’s teachings which include (but are not limited to) the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path.



03. Practice Buddhist meditation in order to free your mind from worry and focus on the present to achieve inner peace.



04. The Buddha taught that as we all go through the life cycle, we will meet with some inconvenience, not always satisfactory and there may be suffering.


It depends on how we deal with the situation. The word “dukkha”, has many meanings from suffering to dissatisfaction to inconvenience and so on.


05. Understand and research the concepts of rebirth and Karma/Kamma.



06. Understand “dukkha” and Buddhist definitions of the many sufferings.



07. Determine which of the many paths of Buddhism you would like to pursue, whether it be Theravada (a very traditional form), or Mahayana (which includes Zen, Tibetan, and other specific types of practice.)


Following a certain traditional path isn’t a requirement for enlightenment, but it does help to receive guidance from traditionally trained people and to discuss things with other Buddhists. Be aware that some people define Buddhism very differently than others.


08. Practice the Buddha’s teachings in your everyday life.



09. Participate within your local Buddhist community. Helping others helps you as well.



10. The Four Noble Truths are:


  • Life means suffering.
  • The origin of suffering is attachment.
  • The cessation of suffering is attainable.
  • The path to the cessation of suffering is detachment.


11. The Eightfold Path is broken down into three sub-topics:


  • Wisdom
    • Right View
    • Right Intention
  • Ethical Conduct
    • Right Speech
    • Right Action
    • Right Livelihood
  • Mental Development
    • Right Effort
    • Right Mindfulness
    • Right Concentration


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