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One is one’s own refuge. Buddha

Attracting popularity worldwide for its cosmic outlook and lack of earthly hierarchy, Buddhism is not based on formal dogma per se.

Rather, it remains a dynamic spiritual quest which gives back to individuals a responsibility for their own happiness.

Striving after ego gratification, money, or power ultimately prove to be stumbling blocks to experiencing joy here and now. Most often, lovingkindness is the word most often heard in Buddhist teachings.

The philosophy for attaining nirvana, or spiritual awakening, was founded in northern India in 535 BC by Siddhartha Gautama, who was the first known Buddha ("one who has awakened") to have attained nirvana by quiet meditation.

Today, Buddhism has grown to become a major world religion with purported adherents around the globe outnumbered only by Christians, Moslems and Hindus.

Branches or sects of Buddhism have grown to include Theravada Buddhism, prevailing since the 13th century in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma,Thailand, Cambodia & Laos - and Mahayana Buddhism, largely practiced today in Japan, Korea, China, Tibet & Mongolia.

The smallest of Buddhist sects, Tibetan Buddhism, grew out of the remoteness of Tibet in the Himalayas, but it is now arguably the most well-known of the Buddhist schools due to its famous and outspoken leader, the Dalai Lama.

Around the Web, find out more about the 4th largest religion in the world at sites offering histories and timelines, guide to Buddhist meditation techniques, discussions on comparative religions, and great works of art inspired by Buddha and his teachings ....


More about Buddhism around the Web:

BuddhaNet - Award-winning, elegantly presented site with an extensive library of news & information including online meditation techniques, daily readings, downloadable e-books, audio clips, feature articles in an online magazine, related link list & resource directory, Bodhi Tree Forest Monastery retreat schedule & sign-up.

BUDDHISM - Despite the recent proliferation of banner ads at this site, a great intro to the faith with an overview of Buddha's life, core Buddhist beliefs in the East & West, comparison of Buddhism & Christianity, with an extensive link list of related resources.

Buddha - Buddhism Religion - Examining the philosophy in words & pictures including quotes from Buddha's teachings, Walpola Rahula in 'What the Buddha Taught', plus related prayers, meditation practices, an explanation of the Middle Way, Eightfold Path & Four Noble Truths, with suggested reading & related links.

BBC Religion & Ethics - Buddhism - The basics clearly explained, with overviews of Buddhist customs, worship, history & holy days, feature stories.

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