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The Basics: What the Buddha Taught

The primary teachings shared by all schools of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and the Precepts. Within these teachings are woven the Buddhist doctrines of suffering (dukkha), the five aggregates of being (skandhas), no-self (anatta, shunyata), ethics, karma, rebirth, enlightenment and Nirvana.
  1. Buddhism As Religion (8)
  2. Buddhist Meditation (5)
  3. Existence (10)
  4. Four Noble Truths (29)
  5. How Buddhism Understands Mind (5)
  6. Moral Issues (14)
  7. The Eightfold Path (20)
  8. The Paramitas (9)
  9. The Precepts of Buddhism (11)
  10. The Six Realms (3)

What Is Dharma in Buddhism?
In Buddhism, the word "dharma" usually is defined as "the teachings of the Buddha." However, it means a great deal more than that.

What Is Buddhism?
There's more to Buddhism than shaving one's head, wearing orange robes and being blissful. Here is a guide to the basic basics for those who don't know nothin' about Buddhism.

Renunciation - What Is Renunciation in Your Practice?
Buddhists discuss renunciation in Buddhism.

The Buddha's Path to Happiness
The Buddha taught that most of us seek happiness the wrong way, and so it eludes us. What is the right way to find happiness?

The Four Seals of the Dharma
Buddhism is distinguished by four characteristics, called the Four Dharma Seals. Any religion or philosophy that contains these four seals is Buddhist, whether it calls itself "Buddhist" or not. By the same token, a "Buddhism" that contradicts any of the Four Seals is not Buddhism, whether it calls itself that or not.

Brahma-vihara: The Four Divine States or Four Immeasurables
The Buddha taught his monks to cultivate four states of mind, called the "Brahma-vihara," "four divine states of dwelling" or "Four Immeasurables." These are loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.

Buddhism and Compassion
The Buddha taught that compassion isn't just a nice virtue; it is essential to realizing enlightenment.

Loving Kindness
In Buddhism, loving kindness is the antidote to selfishness, anger, and fear.

Mudita
Mudita is joy in the good fortune of others. The Buddha taught that opening our hearts to sympathetic joy is a prerequisite for enlightenment.

Why Do Buddhists Avoid Attachment?
You may have heard that Buddhists are supposed to be free of attachments. But "attachment" may not mean what you think it means.

Buddhism and Science
If there is an article of faith among many present-day Buddhists, it's that the more science discovers, the better scientific knowledge harmonizes with Buddhism. Is this true, and is it a good way to approach Buddhism?

Misunderstanding Buddhism
Buddhists want to get enlightened so they can be blissed out all the time. And they believe in reincarnation, and if something bad happens to you it's because of something you did in a past life. And Buddhists have to be vegetarians. Everybody knows that. Unfortunately, much of what "everybody knows" about Buddhism isn't true.

How People Misunderstand Buddhism
Buddhists want to get enlightened so they can be blissed out all the time. And they believe in reincarnation, and if something bad happens to you it's because of something you did in a past life. And Buddhists have to be vegetarians. Everybody knows that. Unfortunately, much of what "everybody knows" about Buddhism isn't true. What do you think are the most common things people believe about Budd…

Eight Awarenesses of Enlightenment
The Eight Awarenesses, or Aspects, of Enlightenment are a guide to Buddhist practice, but they are also the characteristics that distinguish a Buddha. It is said that to fully realize the Awarenesses is Nirvana.

Buddhism and Equanimity
The Buddha taught his disciples to develop equanimity. What do Buddhists mean by equanimity, and how do you develop it?

Equanimity - How Do You Practice Equanimity
What does equanimity mean to you, and how do you practice it?

Working With Worry
Worry or anxiety are considered in Buddhism to be hindrances to enlightenment. Here is advice for practicing when you are worried.

The Hindrance of Desire
The Buddha taught that freeing oneself from desire will lead to enlightenment. But how do you free yourself from desire?

A List of Buddhist Lists
Over the centuries, Buddhism has accumulated a lot of lists. Here is a list of the most prominent Buddhist lists.

A List of Buddhist Lists, Part 2
This continuation of the List of Buddhist Lists contains lists with six to ten items.

A List of Buddhists Lists, Part 3
The third section of the List of Buddhist Lists, with lists of items of more than ten.

The Five Niyamas
The Five Niyamas are natural laws or causal factors that affect physical and mental phenomena. Karma is one of the Niyamas, but not the only one.

War and Buddhism
Buddhism opposes war, but sometimes Buddhists must go to war. Buddhism values pacifism, yet Buddhism is associated with martial arts. What does Buddhism teach about war?

The Fetter of Views
The Buddha warned his followers to not get lost in a wilderness of views. What did he mean?

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