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What is Buddhism Buddhism is a path of teaching and practice Buddhist practices such as meditation are means of changing oneself in order to develop the qualities of awareness kindness and wisdom The experience developed within the Buddhist tradition over thousands of years has created an incomparable resource for all those who wish to follow the path of spiritual development Ultimately the Buddhist path culminates in Enlightenment Who was the Buddha The word Buddha is a title not a name It means one who is awake in the sense of having woken up to reality The title was first given to a man called Siddharta Guatemala who lived about 2500 years ago in Northern India When he was 35 he found Enlightenment while in profound mediation after searching for years In the next 45 years of his life he spent traveling through India teaching his way of life His teaching is known as Buddha-dharma Traveling from place to place the Buddha gained many disciples They also taught of the enlightenment and the chain has continued on to this present day The Buddha was not a God and he made no claim to divinity There is no concept of a creator in Buddhism He was a human being who thought tremendous efforts transformed himself The followers of the Buddha believe life goes on and on in many reincarnations or rebirths The eternal hope for all followers of Buddha is that through reincarnation one comes back into successively better lives - until one achieves the goal of being free from pain and suffering and not having to come back again The state of Enlightenment which he reached has three main facets It is a state of wisdom of insight into the true nature of things It is also a source or boundless compassion manifesting
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