Definition – What does Buddhist mean?
A Buddhist is someone who adheres to the principles of Buddhism, an Eastern religion with millions of followers worldwide. The estimates of the number of Buddhists vary widely — from 200 million to more than 500 million, or roughly six to 10 percent of the world’s population. There are many traditions within Buddhism, but all focus on some type of path to personal spiritual development.
On explains Buddhist
The two schools with the most Buddhists are Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism. The latter includes the traditions of Zen Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism.
All Buddhists trace their roots to the original Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, more than 2,500 years ago. Beliefs vary by tradition, but have some common ground. In general, Buddhists:
- Don’t believe in a personal god;
- Believe in impermanence;
- Believe life is endless; and
- Strive for enlightenment with the ultimate goal of reaching a state of nirvana.
Meditation is the main practice for Buddhists. It promotes understanding and awareness that moves them along their spiritual path.