An Introduction to Buddhism*

To do no evil;

To cultivate good;

To purify one's mind:

This is the teaching of the Buddhas.

--The Dhammapada

The Buddha was born Siddhartha Gautama, a prince of the Sakya tribe of Nepal, in approximately 566 BC. When he was twentynine years old, he left the comforts of his home to seek the meaning of the suffering he saw around him. After six years of arduous yogic training, he abandoned the way of self-mortification and instead sat in mindful meditation beneath a bodhi tree.

On the full moon of May, with the rising of the morning star, Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha, the enlightened one.

The Buddha wandered the plains of northeastern India for 45 years more, teaching the path or Dharma he had realized in that moment. Around him developed a community or Sangha of monks and, later, nuns, drawn from every tribe and caste, devoted to practicing this path. In approximately 486 BC, at the age of 80, the Buddha died. His last words are said to be...

Impermanent are all created things;

Strive on with awareness.

Table of Contents

The Life of Siddhartha Gautama
A Map of Buddha's World
The History of Buddhism
Buddhist Hymns and Prayers
                    Including the Mahamangala Sutta
The Basics of Buddhist Wisdom
                    The Four Noble Truths
                    The Eightfold Path
                    The Kalama Sutta
Buddhist Cosmology
                    The Universe
                    The Trikaya
                    Buddha Families
The Wheel of Life
                    Dependent Origination
The Basics of Buddhist Morality
                    Pancha Shila
                    The Paramita
                    The Brahma Vihara
                    The Sigalovada Sutta
                    The Ten Duties of a King
                    The Metta Sutta
The Basics of Buddhist Meditation
                    Basic Meditation
                    The Ananda Sutta
The Diamond Sutra
The Heart Sutra
A Sampler of Zen Poems
The Ten Oxherding Pictures
Towards a Buddhist Psychotherapy
Navayana Buddhism
Basic Buddhist Vocabulary
Links and Suggested Readings

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by C. George Boeree.

*The pages of this web site were written for the students of my class on Buddhist Psychology.  Although the religious aspects of Buddhism are discussed, I am far more interested in presenting Buddhism's philosophical and psychological side.  It is not necessary to believe in heavens or hells, in gods, demons, or ghosts, or even in rebirth or reincarnation in order to benefit from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.  I myself believe in none of these things, and yet have learned a great deal from the sutras -- far more than from any other source.  I encourage all of you to become familiar with Buddhism, and I humbly suggest that these pages are a good place to begin!

Wishing: In gladness and in safety,

May all beings be at ease.

-- The Metta Sutta

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Dr. C. George Boeree.