Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world, encompassing many different traditions and practices. It originated in India between the sixth and fourth centuries BCE with the dissemination of the teachings of Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha. There is no central religious text for Buddhists, but there are many sutras (teachings ascribed to the Buddha himself) collected throughout history. The central tenets of Buddhism are reflected in the Four Noble Truths (which describe what cause and relieve suffering) and the Eightfold Path (which describes practices that can lead to release from the painful cycle of rebirth). Spiritual practices that permeate most expressions of Buddhism include meditation, compassion toward living beings, and the pursuit of insight.

Tibetan Buddhism in a Nutshell

This page offers an introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by Pema Khandro.

Greatest Love of All

When you incorporate Buddhism’s four immeasurables into your life, your love won’t be attached to just one person, says Lodro Rinzler. It will flow freely, and you can offer it to everyone you encounter.

Practice Is Politics

As Noah Levine says, it may be that all we can do is make wise choices as to who we think will bring about less suffering and confusion to the world. That, he says, is where our Buddhist practice becomes a form of engaged rebellion.

The Power of Buddhism

If you ignore power, you ignore powerful Buddhist teachings. Pema Khandro Rinpoche says that Buddhism teaches us how to be powerful and compassionate at the same time.

How to Be a Bodhisattva

It may seem like an unattainable ideal, but you can start right now as a bodhisattva-in-training. All you need is the aspiration to put others first and some inspiration from helpful guides like the Buddhist teachers found here.

Fearless Compassion in the Face of Violence

The willingness to face suffering can give rise to compassion.

Buddhist Women: One Nun’s Hardship & Beauty

The Story of Gelongma Palmo. One of the key themes of Buddhist life stories is that our experiences are not only made up of circumstances, but also of our reaction to those circumstances.

Aren’t You Supposed To Be Enlightened? (when you should be alarmed)

Are we supposed to be “enlightened?” Are we supposed to be perfect? If not, how do we measure our lives as Buddhists?

We Are Tara

Tara is the female buddha of compassion. Called Drolma in Tibetan, her name means Female Liberator or Mother Liberator.

Tonglen: In with the Bad, Out with the Good

“Accepting and sending out” is a powerful meditation to develop compassion—for ourselves and others. Ethan Nichtern teaches us how to do it in formal practice and on the spot whenever suffering arises.