Buddhism

Teachings, FAQ, and Resources

Buddhism may be classified as a non-theistic religion, a way of life, a philosophy, or a spiritual tradition. Regardless of what we call it, Buddhism began over 2500 years ago as a set of teachings given by Siddhartha Guatama. Siddhartha was a man from what is now Northern India who became fully awakened in his own meditation practice. In the years after his awakening, the Buddha (awakened one) taught many monks and nuns. The Buddha’s teachings are vast and cover many topics including meditation, mindfulness, concentration, loving-kindness, and more.

Below you will find our understanding of these essential Buddhist teachings. These are just a few of the Buddha’s teachings. There are so many teachings, we encourage you to read them for yourself (links in the FAQ section). At the bottom you will find commonly asked questions about Buddhism and meditation, which is updated regularly. You can also visit our Buddhism for Beginners page.

The Four Noble Truths

Believed to be the Buddha’s first teaching after his enlightenment, this is often called the most basic and foundational of the Buddha’s insights. This piece of wisdom covers the pain and suffering we all experience, the cause of the suffering, and the way to end suffering.

The Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path is the Fourth Noble Truth. This teaching is a layout for the way for us to end the suffering in our lives. Covering wisdom, ethics, and meditation, these eight factors are to be developed in order to awaken to the reality of experience.

The Four Establishments of Mindfulness

The Four Establishments or Foundations of Mindfulness is another very important teaching. This teaching outlines exactly what mindfulness is, how we establish it, and offers some practices on building mindfulness. This is a must-read for anybody interested in Buddhist mindfulness practice.

The Three Marks of Existence

The three marks or characteristics of existence are three qualities that all phenomena and experience share. These characteristics are understood through the practice of mindfulness, and help us see things more clearly.

Kamma

Kamma (or karma in Sanskrit), is a teaching in Buddhism of cause-and-effect. Kamma is often misunderstood, and is a crucial Buddhist teaching.

The Five Hindrances

The Five Hindrances are mental states that hinder growth in meditation. These five qualities arise in all of us in many different ways. The Buddha taught these five qualities so that we may identify them when they arise and not allow them to control our practice.

The Three Jewels

The Three Jewels or Three Refuges are three places we turn toward for refuge. These jewels are the Buddha, the teachings, and the community.

The Three Poisons

The Three Poisons, or the Three Unwholesome Roots are the three mental states that lead to suffering. Understanding these poisons is important if we are to uproot them and be free.

The Four Brahma-Viharas

The brahma-viharas, or “heavenly abodes,” are the Buddhist heart practices. These are the practices of cultivating kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Often slighted as a less important practice than mindfulness or insight, the heart practices are an important piece of a healthy Buddhist meditation practice.

The Ten Paramis

The paramis, or “perfections,” are ten qualities we should cultivate in daily life. They lay the foundation for the understanding of ethics in Buddhism, and give an outline of what qualities are important to develop. These can be understood as priorities for the Buddhist practitioner.

The Eight Precepts
The precepts are training rules that many lay Buddhists take. They are simply a set of 5 or 8 guidelines that we set the intention to follow. The precepts help us lead a wholesome life and cause harm neither to ourselves nor to others.

The Seven Factors of Awakening
The Seven Factors of Awakening or Enlightenment are qualities that the practitioner develops that lead to awakening or enlightenment. These qualities are to be developed in meditation practice, and may be called for differently in different moments.

The Five Jhanic Factors
The Five Jhanic Factors are five mental states that are developed to lead to deep cencentrative states in meditation. One develops these factors in meditation in order to drop into these states of absorption and heightened insight.

Dana (Generosity)

About One Mind Dharma’s Buddhist Tradition
There are many different Buddhist traditions. Practiced in many countries across the world, Buddhism has taken many forms. Here at One Mind, we practice Theravada Buddhism.

Buddhist Quotes
This is simply a collection of our favorite Buddhist quotes. These quotes are all authentic, not quotes misattributed to the Buddha. Taken from the Buddhist discourses, monks, and modern teachers, this quote collection may help you look at some of the teachings in a new way.

FAQ

Who was the Buddha?
What is the difference between the different schools of Buddhism?
How do I begin meditating?
Is Buddhism a religion?
Why is Buddhism so cynical?
What if I do not believe in rebirth?

RESOURCES

These are some of our favorite resources for learning more about Buddhism. These links include discourses from the Buddha, talks, and book recommendations. We hope that these resources may be of use to you!

Read suttas at accesstoinsight.org

Dharma Talks
Ajahn Passano
Than Geoff
ATS
Dharma Seed
Gil

Books
Heart of the Buddha’s Teachings
Heart of the Revolution
A Path with Heart
What the Buddha Said
Noble Eightfold Path
Satipatthana