Basics in Buddhism

This collection features Alan’s articles in Buddhism related to the fundamentals and basics in Buddhism.  These are perfect for those new to Buddhism, wanting a new way to understand the teachings, or need a bit more information!  More articles are being created (this is not everything), so be sure to sign up for email updates!

  1. [ Overview ]
    • Buddhism, a Quick Intro:  This article gives a general overview of Buddhism, along with a infographic and a quick reference card.  This is the article to start with.
  2. Four Noble Truths ]
  3. [ Noble Eightfold Path ]
    • Unwrapping the Origami of the Eightfold Path:  The fourth Noble Truth was related to the path to liberation, and that is what the Noble Eightfold Path is all about.  It is the path that all Buddhists follow to be liberated.
  4. Karma ]
    • Take Your Unwholesome Karma and Shove It:  Karma has become a buzzword in our modern world, but often with a contradictory understanding.  The teaching of Karma by the Buddha is not what you may think it is.  Understanding Karma is important, because a Buddhist’s goal is to be free of it!
  5. Enlightenment ]
    • Wake Up!  Understanding Enlightenment in Buddhism:  Also known as “awakening”, enlightenment is the goal of Buddhists because it means you are then either a Bodhisattva or Arhart and are able to live in the state of Nirvana and transcend Karma and the cycle of birth and death.
  6. [ Nirvana ]
    • Smells Like Buddhist Nirvana:  Nirvana gets confusing due to popular culture, but it is not someplace you go, but something you already are.  Learn about the ultimate destination of Buddhism.
  7. [ Rebirth / Samsara ]
    • Reincarnation and Buddhism:  Here We Go Again:  Samsara, or the cycle of birth and death, is the world we live in.  This process, which we call rebirth, is not the same thing as “reincarnation”.  Learn more in this article to understand what Buddhist’s are trying to escape from.
  8. [ Impermanence ]
    • Happy (Buddhist) Impermanence Day!:  Learn how the concept of impermanence (Anicca) in Buddhism is important to understanding other concepts, such as nonself and Nirvana.
  9. [ Nonself ]
  10. [ Attachment ] – Coming Soon


The following are resources in this collection you may find useful:

  1. Top 5 Books for Buddhist Newbies:  This is my most popular article, and is frequently ranked #1 in Google.  Find the books I recommend a new practitioner to Buddhism start with.  You will enjoy these selections!
  2. Top 5 Videos for Buddhist Newbies:  Videos are a great way to learn about Buddhism, and this collection will be more than enough to get you started.
  3. Top 5 Websites for Buddhist Newbies:  Which websites are the best to begin with?  These five selections are sure to give you more than enough information!
  4. 5 Ways to Learn Meditation Without Leaving Home:  If you do not live near a Buddhist temple or teacher, don’t worry!  There are many ways to begin your meditation practice.
  5. Do You Need a Buddhism Teacher?:  No Buddhist teacher near you?  That is not uncommon in countries that are not predominately Buddhist.  Learn why, or why not, you don’t need a Buddhist teacher.
  6. The Buddhist Scriptures for Newbies:  Understanding the scriptures in Buddhism is important.  This overview article takes you through understanding them.
  7. Schools In:  Comparing Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism:  Perhaps the most confusing part of Buddhism has nothing to do with the teachings (which can be very confusing), but what school of Buddhism to follow!  The two main branches of Buddhism are explained here.
  8. Buddha’s Seal of Approval:  Understanding The Three Dharma Seals:  Explained in the Mahayana view, the Three Dharma Seals are the ‘test’ you can give to any teaching to ensure it is a genuine Buddhist teaching.