Buddhism is a philosophy.   Buddhism can be practiced by anyone of any religion, Agnostic,  Atheist, etc.

The following are the words and teachings of the Buddha --- anything else should be considered suspect.

Essentials of Buddhism

Four Noble Truths

   1. Suffering exists
   2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
   3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
   4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path 

Noble Eightfold Path

 Three Qualities  Eightfold Path
 Wisdom (panna)  Right View
   Right Thought
 Morality (sila)  Right Speech
   Right Action
   Right Livelihood
 Meditation (samadhi)  Right Effort
   Right Mindfulness
   Right Contemplation

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In short, yes.   I wish my grass did not have brown spots.   To what degree I allow myself to suffer over this is mine alone.  I wish Raquel Welsh would answer my love letters, I wish my wife could better, I wish my health was better than it is, etc etc    Suffering is my choosing.   It is my desires that make me suffer to whatever degree I place value on my desires.   Please understand, I am not promoting Buddhism, otherwise, I would continue to follow and associate with Buddhist community.  I am an Atheist ---- the Buddha was "the Buddha" not a buddhist.  He taught a philosophy for living not a religion.

There are several forms of Buddhism, it is not one monolithic entity or belief system. Some of them believe in gods and others do not. In so far as it is purely a philosophy it advocates that one prevent suffering by purging desire and thereby preemptively eliminate disappointment and loss. Many Buddhists also believe that misfortune in this life is a result of behavior in a previous life. By extension that necessarily means that those that suffer extremist agony in this life by definition brought it on themselves and that only by learning not to feel the pain can they break the cycle of punishment for past unremembered wrongs. I must admit that while some Buddhists practice an admirable philosophical ideal for many it tends to be a brand of fatalism I do not find tempting.

We have watched the Christian, Muslim, and Hinduism evolve and in some cases make radical changes.   The Buddha did not advocate future or past lives.  The Buddha did not teach Gods, heaven or hell.   All these machinations came from followers later on -- the Buddha taught enlightenment for living this life.  I am an atheist; but I do admire the simple philosophy  for living this life that we know and can prove to ourselves --- all the rest I believe to be extremely suspect and true B.S. ---- Buddhist priest are really no different than christian preachers or muslim imams.  It's a job; it's a career, it's easy money for grifters.     


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