Buddhism itself professes to have no set form of traditions. Various schools of Buddhism, however, have adopted their own exclusive set of traditions as they have developed.Know More
The practice of Buddhism is divided by style into East and West. Among each of these are several different schools of the faith. Traditions of the Eastern practices of Buddhism include belief in the underworlds, studying Buddhist teachings, charitable giving, building good karma and chanting. Eastern Buddhists also observe significant events in the lunar calendar, including the lunar new year. Most Eastern Buddhists are found in Asia, mainly mainland China.
Meditation and temple worship are the primary elements of Western Buddhism, which focuses more on ritual in the traditional religious sense. Western Buddhists tend to be less focused on the priestly hierarchy as well. Western Buddhism did not evolve from Eastern Buddhism until the first part of the 20th century.
All branches of Buddhism, regardless of their traditions, are founded on the teachings of Buddha. Though exact numbers are not known, it is believed that Buddhism is practiced by hundreds of millions of people around the world. While some figures are as high as 500 million, most scholars agree that the number is actually probably closer to about 350 million.Learn more about Buddhism
The Buddha's birth name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was born a wealthy prince. Historians debate many details of his life, but he lived between the sixth and fourth centuries B.C.Full Answer >
The 14th Dalai Lama is famous for fighting to ensure Tibet's independence from China and spiritual growth of all people. Dalai Lamas are influential monks chosen from the Gelug school.Full Answer >
The lotus flower symbolizes rising from a dark place into beauty and rebirth, as this is exactly how a lotus flower grows. Lotus flowers grow directly out of muddy and murky waters and produce beautiful white and pink blossoms. Lotus flowers are often referred to in Buddhist studies and they are a symbol of strength among adversity.Full Answer >
"The Miracle of Mindfulness" by Thich Nhat Hanh is a good first book to read on Zen Buddhism, according to About.com. Popular in the West and among non-Buddhists, it introduces the reader to mindfulness and Mahayana. It also illustrates how Zen Buddhist practices can be incorporated into everyday life.Full Answer >