What is Buddhism?


“At the heart of Buddha’s teaching are both a profound insight into the nature of things and a vital concern for the welfare of all beings. Buddha declared the capacity for such insight and compassion actually exists within all of us. Thus the art of living set forth by him is designed to realise this extraordinary inner potential.”

Lama Jampa Thaye, in an Introduction to Buddhist Basics

Buddhism: the Path to Inner Freedom

When the Buddha revealed the path to realisation over two thousand years ago, he demonstrated that the potential for buddhahood exists right here and now in all of us. By travelling the path, we can cultivate that potential and eventually achieve lasting freedom, as well as boundless compassion, wisdom and energy.  Put simply, the path itself consists of three main elements: meditation, ethical behaviour and wisdom.  Through the practice of meditation we begin to calm the turbulence of mind and develop real insight into how things really are; by practising ethical behaviour we transform our way of relating to others into one which puts their needs first; and through the accumulation of wisdom we come to an understanding of the true nature of the world around us. Each of these aspects of the path acts as a helpful support for the others: for example, without a stable mind, it is difficult to fully investigate the world; if we only act on impulse and don’t take time to reflect, it is hard to develop a calm mind and so on.

Since the time of the historical Buddha, numerous men and women have achieved great states of realisation through the practice of his teachings, which have been preserved and transmitted in the many Buddhist traditions, including the Sakya tradition of Buddhism, down to the present day.