Buddhism can be described as a path or journey that addresses the dissatisfaction or suffering in our lives caused by spiritual ignorance, caused by our deep-seated attachment to experiencing ourselves as the centre of the universe, caused by our narrow perspectives on life. The ultimate purpose of Buddhism is to bring an end to suffering by increasingly training the mind to be free from selfishness, hatred and spiritual ignorance. The teachings, insights and methods of Buddhism are all designed to help the arising of, or realisation of, Enlightenment or Awakening. Indeed, the word ‘Buddha’ means ‘the Awakened One.’ In the Buddha’s day he wasn’t only referred to as ‘the Buddha’ he was also known for example as ‘the Compassionate One,’ ‘the Great Hero’, ‘the Conqueror.’ ‘The Conqueror’ because he had conquered the whole of limited, conditioned existence within himself.

He spent the last 45 years of his life wandering from village to village, from town to town, on foot in northern India, teaching both high and low alike the way out of suffering. He taught a path leading to the fullness of Wisdom and Compassion. One Indian sage summarised Buddhism like this: “Cease to do evil; learn to do good; purify the heart. That is the fundamental principle of Buddhism.” But as the story goes, even a child of 3 can understand this but it’s so difficult that a man of 80 cannot put it into practise.