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Buddhist philosophy is less religion, more practice of social truths. To become a Buddhist, one must first understand the philosophy and beliefs of this religion. 

Most people think that Buddhism means never hurting a living thing, even in anger, and that you are always peaceful. While these ideas are somewhat true regarding the Buddhist way of life, they oversimplify what it means to be Buddhist and follow Buddhist principles. It is more complex than you might realize.

The Three Universal Truths

Buddhism is part science, in a way. One of the Three Universal Truths states that “Nothing is lost in the Universe,” and another states that “There exists the Law of Cause and Effect.” The final Universal Truth is “Everything changes.” These are not just philosophical ideas but also science. Change is constant. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction (i.e., cause and effect). The universe has a way of guiding things onto paths and/or reusing things after they have died.

The Three Trainings

There are specific pieces of training every Buddhist should adhere to. Sila, Samadhi, and Prajna are the names of these practices. They teach and encourage Buddhists to be morally and virtually good, to concentrate and practice mindful meditation to reach enlightenment, and discernment and enlightenment, respectively.

The Four Noble Truths

Along with the Three Universal Truths, Buddhists must learn the Four Noble Truths. These noble truths acknowledge suffering, look for its cause, learn to release that which causes suffering, and finally follow the Eightfold Path. If Buddhists can do that, there is a good chance they will reach Nirvana, the Buddhist equivalent to Heaven.

The Five Precepts

These Buddhist commandments teach Buddhists to follow a clean and healthy life. They cannot kill, lie, misuse or abuse sex, use or abuse drugs or alcohol, and do not steal. Doing so prevents one from reaching one’s ultimate goals as a Buddhist.

The Eightfold Path

The Eightfold Path includes all of the above teachings and principles, plus a few extra. There is order to the faith and philosophy. This is why it appeals to many who have had too much chaos in their own lives. It is not an easy system of beliefs to follow, but many Buddhists find it structured and a content way to live.