Today I finished my book on Buddhism: In The Buddha’s Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. This was not as straightforward of an introduction to Buddhism as I would have liked.
It seems to me that the basics to Buddhism are: Follow the Noble Eightfold Path to stop being reincarnated and then you will achieve Nirvana.
This is of course followed by many rules and parables about how one should live and what they should and should not do. The Buddhist holy texts also include messages written as they were spoken to the monks and often include repetition.
The Noble Eightfold Path is as follows: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
I don’t know many Buddhists but when I went to Cambodia I did visit the famous ancient Buddhist temples at Angkor Wat and I would also see monks on the streets of all the cities that I visited. Buddhism is the religion of 8% of the world (as of 2010), but 98% of all Buddhists live in the Asia-Pacific or South Asia region of the world.
Buddhism never calls for violence and is more of a focus on your inner self and the way that you live your individual life, with no call to attempt to convert or recruit other members. It does tell you how you should treat family members, neighbors, and servants close to you however.
This may not be the religion for me, but I feel like all people, regardless of their beliefs, could take some ideas away from this religion.