How to Become a Buddhist

Updated February 21, 2017

Buddhism is a religion of sacrifice, self-awareness and the quest to reach a state of personal enlightenment. An ancient faith from Asia, Buddhism has maintained popularity and a steady following in the United States for many years. If you have come to the realization that you are meant to walk the Buddhist path, here are some things you can do to become a Buddhist.

Give away unneeded possessions. Buddhists believe that most human suffering is a result of greed and dependence on material possessions. Devout Buddhists live extremely simple lives, sometimes even denying themselves cars and electricity as a symbol of their selflessness and in order to own as few human possessions as possible. While you might not want to make a sacrifice that extreme, sort through your personal belongings and give any surplus material goods to charity or friends. Living more simply will help you become more enlightened.

Donate to charity. Buddhists believe in making positive contributions to the world around them and try to leave it better than they found it. As an aspiring Buddhist you can embody this spirit of benevolence by donating your time or money to charitable donations. Volunteer at an animal shelter or at a local hospital to try to help ease the suffering of others or make monetary donations to organizations and causes that have significance to you; this will keep money from ruling your life.

Be kind to others. Some Buddhists seclude themselves on mountaintops and carry a broom at all times to sweep the path in front of them to avoid stepping on animals and plants because life in all forms is that precious to them. While you might not be able to carry a broom around with you everywhere and you probably won't be able to avoid killing a bug now and then, make a conscious effort to be kind and benevolent in all aspects of your life. Instead of killing that spider you found in the corner, take it outside and release it. If you see a stranded motorist, take the time to stop and help them change their flat tire or ask if they need you to call someone to come help them. Helping others will make you less selfish and self-involved.

Research the faith and related faiths. In order to truly embody the spirit of Buddha you need to understand what he stood for and what his message was. Learn everything you can about Buddha, read the teachings of the Dalai Llama and educate yourself about the faith. Religions like Taoism and Shintoism are similar to Buddhism, and it will be in your best interest to learn a little bit about these faiths as well to guarantee that the Buddhist path is the one you are truly meant to walk.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.