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About.com Buddhism: Most Popular Articles



These articles are the most popular over the last month.



Published: Tue, 06 Dec 2016 11:10:35 +0000

 



Can You Name the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha's first sermon after his Enlightenment centered on these Four Noble Truths, the foundation of Buddhism. Learn more.



Introduction to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Understanding the Four Noble Truths is critical to understanding Buddhism. Here is a simple introduction for beginners.



What Do You Know About Buddhism?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

There's more to Buddhism than shaving one's head and being blissful. Here is an introduction to Buddhism for beginners.



Learn About the Life of Siddhartha Gautama, Who...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This simple account of the historic Buddha's life covers his early life, the Renunciation, his Enlightenment, and his later life as a teacher.



What Buddhism Says About Right View

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Right view was taught by the Buddha as an essential part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. It is a deep understanding of the nature of reality.



What Buddhists Really Mean by 'Life Is Suffering'

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The Buddha didn't



What Is Mahayana Buddhism? How Does It Differ...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

There are a few basic teachings that distinguish all forms of Mahayana. Here Mahayana and Theravada are compared to make these distinctions clear.



The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Second Noble Truth of Buddhism explains why life is unsatisfactory (dukkha).



Buddha Dharma Refers to the Teachings of the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Although the word dharma often refers to the teachings of the Buddha, it means a great deal more than that. What does the term Buddha Dharma mean?



What Is the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path to...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Eightfold Path is the Buddha's prescription for relieving suffering. It is the means by which one can realize enlightenment and enter Nirvana.



What the Dharmachakra (or Dharma Wheel)...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The dharma wheel or dharmachakra is a symbol of Buddhism. What does the wheel represent? And why do the number of spokes vary from one wheel to the next?



Theravada Buddhism: A Brief Introduction to Its...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Here is an introduction to Theravada, the oldest school of Buddhism, briefly explaining its origins and what makes it distinctive from Mahayana Buddhism.



Are There Gods in Buddhism?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >It is often asked



Introduction to the Five Skandhas (Heaps or...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha spoke often of the Five Skandhas, also called the Aggregates or Heaps. These are the physical and mental attributes that we think are us.



Who Is the Laughing Buddha? A Surprising Piece...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

When Westerners think of Buddha, usually they picture the short, fat, bald version, not the austere and serious meditating Buddha. Where did the Laughing Buddha come from?



What Are the Major Types of Buddhism?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

What are the different types of Buddhism? This guide to the major schools shows the differences between Theravada and Mahayana sects and beliefs.



The First Noble Truth of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The study of Buddhism



The Third Noble Truth of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Third Noble Truth explains the cessation of things that bind us to suffering.



Right Action in Ethical Conduct Is Part of the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Right Action is the fourth aspect of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. But what is Right Action, exactly? Here is a brief explanation



The Six Realms of Desire in the Buddhist Wheel...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Six Realms of Buddhism are a description of conditioned existence, or samsara, into which beings are reborn. They may be understood as allegories.



What Zen Buddhism Really Means

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This is a bare-bones introduction to Zen Buddhism for those who don't know Zen from spinach. It includes a brief history of the school and the Zen definition of Zen.



What the Buddha Didn't Teach About Reincarnation

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Would you be surprised to hear that reincarnation is not a doctrine of Buddhism? If so, be surprised -- it isn't.



The Symbol of the Lotus: How Buddhists...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The lotus is one of the most common symbols found in Buddhist art and literature, signifying many things. Here is a guide to the meaning of the lotus.



What Buddhism Teaches About Self and No-Self

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha taught that an individual is a combination of five aggregates, called the Five Skandhas. The skandhas are empty of intrinsic self; the self is no-self (anatman or anatta in Theravada Buddhism and shunyata in Mahayana Buddhism). These teachings are difficult to understand but essential to Buddhism.



What Do Buddhists Mean When They Say Someone Is...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Most people have



The Enlightenment of the Buddha

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This is the story of the enlightenment of the Buddha, including his meditation under the bodhi tree and the temptations of Mara.



What Buddhism Teaches About Sex

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Buddhism challenges us to think about sexual ethics and morals very differently from the way most of us have been taught to think about them.



A Guide to Practicing the Six Perfections of...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Six Perfections or Paramitas are guides for those who seek enlightenment in Mahayana Buddhism. This article introduces the Perfections.



Not All Buddhists Celebrate Buddha's Birthday...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on different dates by various schools of Buddhism. Whatever the date, it is a joyous holiday featuring parades, hanging lanterns, and the sharing of food and flowers.



Prince Siddhartha - The Prince Who Became the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The historical Buddha's original name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was said to have been a prince. What do we know about young Prince Siddhartha?



Guide to the Buddhist Hell Realm

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Naraka, or the Buddhist hell realms, is a place of countless torments. Here is a handy guide in case you end up there.



The Buddha Said Nirvana Is Beyond Human...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Nirvana has become a synonym for bliss or heaven. In Buddhism, Nirvana is not a place, and it is neither existence nor non-existence. So what is it?



It's All Karma, Right? 11 Myths About Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Much of what people in the West believe about Buddhism is mistaken. Here are 11 myths and misunderstandings about Buddhists that aren't true.



What Do Buddhists Believe?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

What do Buddhists believe? In Buddhism, beliefs are beside the point, and doctrines are a means to an end, not the end itself.



Bodhi Day - Observing the Buddha's Enlightenment

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Bodhi Day is the commemoration of the Buddha's enlightenment, observed by Mahayana Buddhists of east Asia.



Buddhism and Karma

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Understanding the laws of karma is essential to understanding Buddhism. Yet karma is mostly misunderstood by Westerners. This essay briefly explains the Buddhist view of karma.



Everything You Need to Know about Buddhist...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Buddhist scriptures comprise an enormous and complicated variety of texts, not one of which is considered authentic and authoritative in all schools.



What Is a Buddha? And Is There Just One Buddha,...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha is pictured in many ways, and the word Buddha is used to mean many things. Just what is a Buddha, anyway? And which Buddha is the Buddha?



Samsara: The World We Create

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

In Buddhism, samsara is the world of delusion and suffering through which unenlightened beings must travel. It is also a world we create with our thoughts.



What Buddhism Teaches About Anger

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Anger is a poison and an obstacle to enlightenment, the Buddha said. Yet we all get angry. What does Buddhism teach about dealing with anger?



Why Do Buddhists Avoid Attachment?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >You may have heard



Enlightened Beings: Are They Really Different...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

When we speak of an enlightened being, are we talking about a flesh-and-blood individual, or something else?



What Are the Eight Auspicious Symbols of...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism are from ancient Indian culture and frequently appear in Buddhist art. Here are the symbols and what they mean.



What Is Buddhist Tantra Really All About?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The esoteric teachings, secret initiations and erotic imagery associated with Buddhist tantra have fueled no end of interest. But tantra may not be what you think it is.



What Is a Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Bodhisattvas are idealized in Mahayana art and literature, and they are also ordinary people. They exemplify compassion and wisdom, and they vow to help all beings realize enlightenment and enter Nirvana.



Are Buddhists Also Atheists?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

If atheism is the absence of belief in gods, then many Buddhists are atheists. Why then do Buddhists pray and bow to Buddha figures on altars?



Karuna: Learn the Importance of Compassion in...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

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



How to Learn About Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Learning about Buddhism can be intimidating. Where do we even begin? Here are some suggestions for how to put one's toe in the water, so to speak.



Three Turnings of the Dharma Wheel

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The three turnings of the dharma wheel mark three significant developments in Buddhist history.



About Buddhist Nuns - Their Lives and Role

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

There are Buddhist nuns as well as monks, but nuns have not always been supported by Buddhist institutions in Asia.



The Fourth Noble Truth of Buddhism - The...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

In the Fourth Noble Truth, the Buddha presented the path to enlightenment.



Sunyata - The Perfection of Wisdom in Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Sunyata, or Emptiness. Buddhism.



The Fifth Buddhist Precept - To Drink, or Not...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The Fifth Precept



Introduction to the Precepts of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddhist Precepts are not a list of commandments to follow. Here is an introduction to the Precepts, both Theravada and Mahayana



Everything You Need to Know About Buddhist...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

A Basic Guide to Buddhist Chanting.



Vajrayana - The Esoteric Path or Diamond...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This is a brief introduction to basic Buddhist Vajrayana -- what is is, how it originated.



12 Links of Dependent Origination - Buddhist...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha said there are twelve links ( nidanas ) in the "chain" of Dependent Origination . Dependent



Buddhist Holidays for 2016: An Online...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This calendar of Buddhist holidays for 2016 is ordered by date instead of by holiday, so that you can follow along through the year. Note that the several traditions of Buddhism do not all observe the same holidays at the same time.



The Trikaya - The Three Bodies of Buddha

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Mahayana doctrine of Trikaya -- the three bodies of Buddha -- teaches us about the nature of enlightenment, the nature of existence, and the way a Buddha manifests in the world.



The First Buddhist Precept

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The first precept of Buddhism -- do not kill -- touches on some of today's hotter issues, from veganism to abortion and euthanasia. Let's take a look at this precept and at what some Buddhist teachers have said about it.



Is Buddhism a Sexist Religion? The Status of...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Is sexism intrinsic to Buddhism, or did Buddhist institutions absorb sexism from Asian culture? Can Buddhism treat women as equals, and remain Buddhism?



Vesak Is the Observance of the Buddha's Birth,...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

What is Vesak? Vesak is a major Buddhist holiday observing the historical Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death (Parinirvana). Learn how it is observed.



The Wheel of Life:

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Wheel of Life is one of the most common subjects of Buddhist art. The detailed symbolism of the Wheel is rich with meaning that can be interpreted on many levels.



What It Means in Buddhism to Take Refuge in...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

In Buddhism, what does it mean to take refuge in the Dharma? This article looks at the second of the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.



Vijnana

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

An introduction to the Buddhist concept of vijnana - awareness or consciousness.



Right Mindfulnes: Mindfulness as a Central...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Mindfulness is a whole-body-and-mind awareness of the present moment that is a cornerstone of Buddhist practice



Gods, Goddesses and Buddhist Tantra - An...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The veneration of tantric deities looks like polytheism, but it isn't. Instead, it is a means to realize enlightenment by realizing oneself as a goddess or god.



An Introduction to the Maha Saddharma-pundarika...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Of the many scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism, few are more revered than the Lotus Sutra. Here is a brief overview of the sutra and its history.



Buddha Nature

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Buddha Nature, an essential doctrine of Mahayana Buddhism, is the already enlightened nature of all beings.



What Are Buddhist Teachings on the Self?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

You can find Buddhist teachings about finding the self, losing the self, small self, big self, original self, true self, and no self. What's a self?



The Ten Paramitas, or Ten Perfections, of...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Mahayana Buddhism  developed six paramitas or perfections early in its history. Later, the list was fleshed



An Overview of Chinese Mahayana Buddhist Sutras

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

There are myriad Mahayana sutras associated with the so-called Chinese Canon of Mahayana Buddhist scripture. Here is an introduction to the Chinese Mahayana sutras.



What Buddhism Teaches About the Ethics of...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Right Livelihood is the fifth step of the Eightfold Path in Buddhist teaching. See what says about having the correct job and attitude towards work.



What Does Buddhism Teach About Right Speech?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Right Speech is a portion of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. What do Buddhists mean by Right Speech?



Right Concentration Is One Part of the Buddha's...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Right Concentration is the eighth part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path. Through Right Concentration, the mind finds its way to wisdom and enlightenment.



Right Effort - Eightfold Path of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

A brief explanation of Right Effort as the sixth part of the Buddhist Eightfold Path



Meaning of the Buddhist Earth Witness Mudra

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The "earth witness"



Why 'Right Intention' Is Important in Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The second aspect of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism is Right Intention or Right Thought. Why are our thoughts or intentions so important?



Which School of Buddhism Is Right for You?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Advice for choosing a school of Buddhism that is right for you



Buddhism: Is It a Philosophy or Religion?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Is Buddhism a philosophy or a religion? Clarifying this point is important to understanding Buddhism.



What Buddhism Teaches About Romantic Love and...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

What does Buddhism say about issues related to romantic love, including marriage and divorce? And are same-sex marriages okay?



Charity in Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

In the West we don't hear much about Buddhist charities, but there really are Buddhist charities doing good work around the world.



Reincarnation Without Souls? Understanding...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

A Buddhist answer to the question, if the human population of earth is growing, where do all the new souls come from?



How Buddhism Came to China: A History of the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

This thousand-year history tells the story of how Buddhism came to China, how it flourished, and how it was nearly crushed by a Tang Dynasty Emperor.



Rohatsu, or Bodhi Day, Is an Observation of the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Definition: Rohatsu



Introduction to Bodhisattva Vows of Buddhism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

In Mahayana Buddhism, the ideal of practice is to become a bodhisattva who strives to liberate all beings from the cycle of birth and death. The Bodhisattva Vows are vows taken formally by a Buddhist to do exactly that. The vows also are an expression of bodhichitta, the desire to realize enlightenment for the sake of others.



Offering Food - Buddhist Rituals and Traditions

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Food is offered to monks and ritually to deities and hungry ghosts. Here is a brief explanation of the meaning and purpose of Buddhist food offerings.



Mara, the Demon of Buddhist Mythology Who...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The demon Mara plays a role in many stories of the Buddha and his monks. This article discusses Mara's origins and what he represents in Buddhism.



Siddhartha's Renunciation - On the Path to...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >The historical



Vegetarianism is Encouraged in Buddhism, But...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The historical Buddha and his disciples were not vegetarians. Why then did vegetarianism come to be associated with Buddhism?



Do You Know the Legend of the Birth of the...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The story of the Buddha's birth is rich with mythical symbolism.



Evil in Buddhism -- How Buddhists Understand Evil

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Explore common concepts of evil as a characteristic or a force compared to Buddhist teachings. Examine further how karma relates to good and evil.



What Does 'Dependent Origination' Mean to...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Dependent Origination is a Buddhist teaching on the nature of existence -- nothing exists independently of other things.



Life of Mahakasyapa, Disciple of the Buddha and...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Buddha's disciple Mahakasyapa led the monks after the Buddha's death.



Buddhism versus Consumerism

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Desires are inexhaustible, especially in our consumerist culture. What does Buddhism teach about greed and desire?



The Role of Karma in Natural Disasters - Don't...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Karma does not create natural disasters, according to the Buddha's teaching. It's incorrect to blame victims of natural disasters for their suffering.



The Prajnaparamita Sutras - Wisdom Scriptures...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The Prajnaparamita Sutras laid the foundation of Mahayana Buddhism. What are they, and how did they originate?



The Wheel of Life: Yama, Lord of the Underworld

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

The creature holding the Wheel of Life in his hooves is Yama, the wrathful dharmapala who is Lord of the Hell Realm. Dharmapalas are not evil beings, but rather are the fierce protectors of Buddhism and Buddhists. Page 2.



Do Buddhists Pray?

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Is there prayer in Buddhism? No, and yes, depending on what you mean by prayer. Here is a brief explanation.



Get an Overview of the Robes Worn by Buddhist...

2016-12-06T11:10:35Z

Although the robes of Buddhist monks and nuns come in many colors and styles, they are all part of a tradition going back to the time of the historical Buddha, 26 centuries ago.