Skip to content

Buddhism Simplified

Buddhism is a pathway to liberation from suffering. When people are cruel to others and to themselves, we find at the root of those actions one of three poisons: anger, hate, or greed – the endless desire for more. If we dig deeper into these poisons, we find they all sprout from fear. And if we keep going, we learn the source of this fear is fear of annihilation, which is based on ignorance of our true nature. This ignorance creates the suffering we feel. Through the practice of Buddhism, we Awaken, or recognize our true nature – and are thus freed from suffering.

The path is varied

The exact steps we take on the Buddhist journey are as varied as those who walk the path. If there were one formula, then everyone would be Enlightened. So instead we must experiment to find our way.  

Through different approaches, we come to know our mind, how it works, and the ways we are caught in ignorance about our true nature. As we practice, our awareness expands, and we learn what we are. This is not a path of changing into something else; it is a path of transforming our view so we can see what actually is.

Along the way, we discover the endless layers of Being, with all its rich detail. On the path of Trikaya Buddhism at Dharma Center (where I teach), we approach the practice with a sense of humor and curiosity – in short, we like to have fun as we explore the doorways to Infinity within us. The Buddhist Path is a profound journey open to all who wish to know who they are.

We can free ourselves

Buddhism is centered in the idea that we can free ourselves. We are not limited by some outside force or entity, but instead as relative individuals we live within the realm of free will. Free will does not mean we have control over everything or anything. Rather it means, during our existence in the relative world, we have a choice to focus our mind on Truth or not.

When we say Truth, there is an understanding that Truth cannot be defined or even understood, but it can be known. Oftentimes we use the word Light for Truth because when we are in alignment with Truth, it feels bright, clear, and still – like a shining light.

We approach the study of Truth from different vantage points. One way is to look at the doctrine of Two Truths: the relative and the absolute. Putting our study into this framework allows us to attempt to wrap our minds around that which is inconceivable.

When we consider relative Truth, we observe and study how our mind behaves in relation to others and in relation to itself at its current level of awareness. As we explore, we discover what is true for us, is not always true for another. In our relative world, we may experience abundance and support from the universe, while another experiences lack and struggle. Since these are relative to the one who experiences it, both are “true” in that sense. Another example is we may meet a person who is pleasant and friendly, while another might encounter that same person and find them cruel and snobbish. If we examine our life at different time periods, when we were at different levels of awareness, we’ll discover what we thought was true at one time is not necessarily true at another.

Relative Truth is not fixed

As we come to understand the nature of Truth in our everyday world, we begin to accept that relative Truth is not fixed. It changes from person to person, and even within our own mind from moment to moment. In Buddhism, we embrace this notion as it opens us beyond our senses. We discover if we cling to ideas of what we think is true in the relative world, our mind becomes confused and insecure. As we let go of our grasping, we eventually come to understand that everything, including ourselves, is empty of any inherent existence.

Recognizing this leads to the understanding of anatta, or no-self, and the basis for Ultimate Truth. We see how everything we experience is dependent upon everything else, and how it is all impermanent. Nothing here lasts, yet it is all connected, and while we are experiencing it, we feel its effects even though we see the transitory nature of existence.

At this point, it’s tempting to put Ultimate Truth in a package we can point to and say: This is It! But if we look deeply, we also recognize there is something eternal and unchanging … but it always remains out of reach and indefinable.

Present Moment

Our simple Buddhist practice always brings us back to the present moment. Instead of trying to label Truth, we strive to live our truth, to embody Light. By seeing how the three poisons of anger, hate, and greed affects our mind, we become conscious of the mental concepts which block us from experiencing the present moment. We call these attachments because we have attached our peace of mind and innate joy to these mental constructs.

Through the twin practices of meditation and mindfulness, we are able to observe and let go of all that holds us in bondage. Eventually, we free ourselves from suffering and experience Liberation.


To discover more about Trikaya Buddhism, please visit us at Dharma Center, or explore my new book Unreasonable Joy: Awakening through Trikaya Buddhism. (paperback & Kindle release date: October 27, 2020)

To be notified of new blog posts, please join my Happy News Mailing List.

My work is entirely funded by my readers – by you. If you like what you have read, if you find insight or inspiration in these words, please help pay for this website by contributing any amount through, or visit my Support page to learn more ways you can help keep the work going.


Published inBuddha Lessons / Mindfulness