More than just a philosophy, or even a religion, Buddhism is a practical path of human development. Its goal is to see things as they really are, achieved by cultivating the mind in meditation and supported by leading a life of meaning and value.
The outcome of such radical transformation is a powerful altruistic urge and the energy, clarity and courage to make a real difference.
Buddhism is a whole vision for life – one that includes meditation, study, ritual, friendship and a deepening sense of purpose.
The Buddha was not a God, not a Kami, nor was he an ordinary man but an altogether new category that we call Buddha, or Awakened. An ordinary person that has Awakened to the Way Things Are. What Buddhists call Enlightenment.
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The spiritual tradition we call Buddhism was started by The Buddha, “The One Who Has Woken Up”, about 2500 years ago in Northern India. In the millennia since his death Buddhism has adapted to many different societies, finding ways to express the Buddha’s vision in different cultures and historical eras.
So what we now call Buddhism consists of many different schools that developed to suit a particular time and place — we have Tibetan Buddhism, Southeast Asian Buddhism, the Zen and Pure Land traditions of Japan, and many others.
Now that Buddhism has arrived in the ‘West’ it needs to find a form that suits this time and place. So members of the Triratna Buddhist Order aim to present a form of Buddhism that is grounded in the core teachings and practices that underlie all the different ethnic schools of Buddhism.
We are not Tibetan Buddhists, Zen Buddhists, Theravada Buddhists, Nichiren Buddhists, or Pure Land Buddhists — we are simply Buddhists, basing ourselves on the core teachings, but open to the richness of the whole tradition.