How to become a Buddhist?

+94 votes
asked Jul 27, 2015 in Culture & Society by LatashiaFowe (240 points)
A Buddhist friend introduced me to some teachings of their religion but he also told me that it is hard to become one. What are the steps that you must do if you want to become a Buddhist?

2 Answers

+15 votes
answered Nov 19, 2015 by DennisWhitel (380 points)
edited Nov 20, 2015 by Morgenstern

Joining a new religion is not an easy decision so I suggest that you think and rethink your decision before plunging ahead. If after careful consideration you still find inside of you the desire to become a Buddhist, then here are the steps that you must accomplish before you can become one.

Study Buddha’s teachings – Buddhism is anchored in understanding the teachings of Buddha that was passed down to his followers. Study them carefully, think about them, seek guidance, ask questions, and decide if it is really the path you want to take. You may need the guiding hand of a Buddhist during this time, so, again, make sure to connect with a Buddhist temple near you.

Take the Three Refuges – which means taking refuge in the Buddha; taking refuge in the Dhamma; and taking refuge in the Sangha. This is the formal step towards your conversion into the Buddhist religion. I once studied the Buddhist religion and their teachings, and I found them to be centered on kindness, tolerance, and honesty. Taking the Three Refuges is the most important step in becoming a Buddhist. This is not a journey or anything, but a symbolic acceptance of their core beliefs and practicing them.

The Three Refuges are:

Refuge in the Buddha - firmly believing that one can achieve enlightenment as Buddha has achieved it. This is the first step towards formal conversion to Buddhism and anchors around the belief on Buddha

Refuge in the Dhamma - understanding the Four Noble Truths and living under the guidance of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Taking refuge in the Sangha - being inspired, looking and receiving support and guidance from fellow followers of the Noble Eightfold Path.

+6 votes
answered Sep 15, 2015 by MARYROSE (850 points)
If you are not just asking how to become a Buddhist as a random question, if you seriously want to become a Buddhist, then obviously, the first thing that you should is to connect with a Buddhist group. Your friend can probably tell you where the nearest Buddhist temple is. This is important so that you can tell them about your desire to know more about their teachings, and ultimately, join their religion.
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