Buddhism in 200 Words

For people who don’t know any better, who measure their happiness by conventional means, life is and will always be unsatisfying. To become truly satisfied with life, people need to reduce their desire for things that make them only temporarily happy. That might be a cigarette, or it might be a fifty year marriage to your best friend: everything is temporary. The more desperately people cling to things, the unhappier they are.

Buddha suggests that lifestyle choices, including practicing non-harmfulness and compassion, can protect people from dissatisfaction. The knowledge provided by Buddhist wisdom in turn has a positive effect on people’s intentions and ethical behavior. One of those intentions should be to quiet, then strengthen and muscularize their minds through the practice of meditation. As mindfulness improves, focus improves. Such introspection and contemplation eventually allows people to rid themselves of their delusions. They can be fearless and free by ridding themselves of the ultimate delusion that there is something for them to do after they die. Their ultimate happiness is determined by how strong their minds are.

Buddha said people can believe in anything they want, but it’s better not to.