1. Buddhism is the fourth largest religion in the world!
After Christianity, Islamism and Hinduism, Buddhism has over 360 million followers! The largest populations of Buddhist populations are in China, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar.
2. Buddha isn’t actually a god.
Although he’s in many statues, Buddha himself explicitly denied he was a god. Instead, he’s a role model for study and learning for other practitioners of Buddhism.
3. There is not “one” way to practice Buddhism.
Even though it is listed as one religion, there is no official Buddhism. Everyone practices in a different way. Some involve a higher power, others not. The Dalai Lama is only the leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, and considered a leader of the Gelug School.
4. There is also more than one Buddha.
There are many different perceptions of Buddha, and many different corresponding statues to go along with them. There is the “fat” Buddha from Chinese folktales, also called the Laughing Buddha. There is also another depiction of Buddha in Thailand, India and Korea, and he is quite skinny.
5. If you’re curious about Buddhism, start with being mindful.
Buddhism focuses on the art of being aware in each moment. This is achieved through meditation, breathing practice, and thinking about the “four noble truths”
dukkha - That all forms of being, human and otherwise, are afflicted with suffering.(the truth of suffering)
samudaya - That the cause of this suffering is craving. (the truth of the cause of suffering)
nirhodha - That this suffering has a lasting end is the complete letting go of attachment.(the truth of the end of suffering)
magga - That this Enlightenment is achieved through the Eightfold Path. (the truth of the path that frees us from suffering)