Practicing Buddhism

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Buddhism: Researching the Religion of the Buddha

For nearly 500 years after his death, the Buddha's teachings were passed through generations of the monastic community by oral tradition. In the late first century BCE they were first written down in a collection known as the Pali Canon. Since then a variety of additional texts and translations have appeared as a means for disseminating his ancient wisdom. Now in the 21st century we have the benefit of a new medium; the Internet is a resource utilized by lay practitioners and monastics alike for bringing the religion of Buddhism to the world.

The Buddhist Faith

One of the oldest enduring Eastern religions, Buddhism was founded in India during the sixth ... read more »

The Different Forms of Buddhism

During Buddhism's 2,500 year history, several thriving sects have emerged, each with a unique take ... read more »

Finding Buddhist Scriptures

Whether you're looking for the Pali Canon, Zen parables and koans, Mahayana text, or scholarly ... read more »

Practicing Buddhism

Many prominent Buddhist organizations host sites with information aimed at helping you further your spiritual journey. If you wish to learn more about incorporating Buddhist practice into your daily life, or are a veteran practitioner looking to enhance or supplement your practice of Buddhism, you'll find the resources provided in this section helpful.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Because there's such diversity in the practice of Buddhism, it's good to develop a familiarity with the different sects prior to making the decision to practice. This can be done using the "The Buddhist Faith" and "The Different Forms of Buddhism" sections of this guide.
  • One valuable way to learn about a new religion is to speak with someone who practices. If you're seriously considering the faith, most Buddhist organizations, whether they're monasteries or local sitting groups, provide introductory courses and talks for aspiring Buddhists. You can learn about the programs offered on such an organization's Web site. If the directories below don't yield a group near you, try running a search in your favorite search engine; for instance, a search for "Zen Buddhism [your city's name]" will produce a list of Zen groups in your area.
  • The concept, purpose, and practice of meditation vary greatly between sects. Below we've included Web sites that overview these different techniques, with an emphasis on Zen meditation because it's widely practiced in the West.
  • Buddhist retreats involve intensive meditation and study of the dharma (Buddha's teachings). They can take place in purpose-built retreat centers, monasteries, or on location in nature. The following sites have databases to help you locate retreat centers worldwide.
  • Pilgrimage is often an important aspect of religious worship. A number of locations throughout Asia have immense significance to the Buddhist religion, including the sites of the Buddha's birth, Enlightenment, and death. Included here is a guide to Buddhist pilgrimage. For additional information on travel, consult the findingDulcinea Travel Guide.

Dulcinea's Picks

For an introduction to practicing Buddhism ...
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Buddhist Products

Whether you're looking for a statue of the Buddha to serve as inspiration in your practice, a book ... read more »

Connecting with the Buddhist Community

Buddhism has a large, vibrant community of online practitioners. Cyberspace abounds with Buddhist ... read more »

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