What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a path of practice and spiritual development leading to insight into the true nature of life. It employs methods such as meditation and the study of Buddhist texts to develop the qualities of awareness, kindness, and wisdom.

The basic tenets of Buddhist teachings are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent, actions have consequences, and change is possible. It is also a set of guidelines which brings people happiness through non-violence, and embodies a belief in reincarnation, i.e., the continuation of the mind after we die.

As part of the Mahayana tradition, the Tibetan Buddhism taught at the Dhargyey Centres places a strong emphasis on heartfelt practice designed to benefit others. For instance, one central line of reasoning trains us to develop compassion for all living beings since they have been our mothers in previous lives.

Mahayana Buddhism's focus on benefiting others is also based on the recognition that we all wish for happiness. That means instead of criticising others when they engage in harmful actions, Buddhism encourages us to have compassion since they are acting against their own interests out of ignorance. That does not mean, however, that we shouldn't still express forceful opposition to what they are doing.

Buddhists don’t go door to door to convert people to their way of life. As followers of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we accept his advice that one must be very cautious about changing religions as this can lead to undesirable results such as negative attitudes towards one's original religion. Nonetheless, as a practice that aims to benefit everyone, Buddhism has much to offer for people from any faith or non-faith background.