Welcome to the Buddhism Teacher. This website is devoted to the dharma, the teachings or truths presented in Buddhism. It is primarily for the purpose of offering this teacher’s interpretation, explanation and clarification of the “facts of life” as taught by the Buddha more than 2500 years ago and which are as relevant today as they were then. Others may have different interpretations; so be it. You can consider the differences and choose whichever ones you prefer.
Our approach is a bit different from other websites on the subject of Buddhism. We accept the view that the Buddha’s intention was not to establish a religion, and that while he did not object to ceremonies and rituals, he avoided them in his teaching of his dharma. We are not as concerned with the Buddha as we are with what he taught. That doesn’t mean we don’t pay tribute to and honor the Buddha, it just means our emphasis is on his dharma.
Through experiences, our way of viewing things is formed. We don’t all see things the same way, but we can consider the ways others see them. The Buddha taught that every sentient being and every thing is in a state of constant change, that nothing remains the same. Our feelings, perceptions, and thought process, just like our bodies, are changing all the time. As our experiences grow, the neuroplasticity of our brain enables it to change physically, which in turn changes the way it processes the information it receives from the mind. Since the experiences of each of us are different, the way we feel, perceive, think or act is also different. Therein is the basic challenge we all face in trying to get along with one another, whether it is between family members and friends, or between cultures and nations. Tolerance is preferred over bigotry.
While Buddhism is definitely labeled and categorized as a religion, as indeed it is just that for some, in this teacher’s view, for Westerners it is more a psychology or a very enlightened or skillful way to live life. His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls it “the art of happiness,” and the venerable Thich Nhat Hanh says it’s “a clever way to have a happy life.” By “happy”, we mean "satisfactory", a life free of frustration and suffering. Actually, most of us are Buddhists, because a Buddhist primarily is a person in search of a satisfying life while pursuing enlightenment and practicing compassion and loving kindness.
Not only will you find here the Buddha Gautama’s basic teachings, but also information about Buddhist traditions, history and some of its most significant schools, such as Zen, Pure Land, and Soka Gakkai. You will be able to ask The Buddhism Teacher questions and receive answers and interpretations of the dharma, as well as join in discussions with other Buddhists or those interested in the teachings and their often controversial and uncommon interpretations.
Note that when we write of the Buddha (initial cap), we are referring only to Siddhartha Gautama, and when we write of a buddha (lower case) we mean any fully enlightened one. We recognize that there are a variety of ways to spell proper names and places and we may use several of them. Please bear with that. After all, words are just symbols of things and ideas, so we ask that you try not to become attached to any one way.
Finally, in the Market Place of this website, you will find recommendations and reviews of books, audios and videos, as well as a variety of other unique and practical items of interest to both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
We encourage you to join us in our search for enlightenment and hope you will find the Buddhism Teacher informative, provocative and interesting