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Buddhism: An Overview

Buddhism is a major world religion, with some estimates suggesting there are 550 million practitioners worldwide.  Buddhism is a nontheistic religion that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. According to tradition, the Buddha lived and taught in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. He is recognized by Buddhists as an enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help sentient beings end their suffering through the elimination of ignorance and craving, with the ultimate goal of attainment of the state of nirvana.

​Buddhist schools vary on the exact nature of the path to liberation, the importance of various teachings and scriptures, and especially their respective practices. Practices may include renouncing conventional living and becoming a monastic; the development of mindfulness and practice of meditation; cultivation of higher wisdom and discernment; study of scriptures; devotional practices; ceremonies; and in the Mahayana tradition, invocation of buddhas and bodhisattvas.

The DVDs, books, musical CDs and spoken word CDs below provide a broad and glancing overview of Buddhism and Buddhist practices.  Explore and lea​rn.

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