The beauty of Buddhism lies in its simple teachings and values of independent effort and learning. We can build these teachings down even further – ‘Not to do any evil; to cultivate good; to purify one’s heart – this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.’
Although Buddhists value highly such virtues as loving kindness, humanity, patience and giving, perhaps they value wisdom and compassion most of all. The idea of ahimsa or harmlessness is very closely connected with compassion. The compassionate desire to cause no harm to all beings and the world in general is a value that transcends all religions and concepts. In all things Buddhism places great stress on self-reliance and the Buddha himself told his followers not to believe without questioning, but to test it for themselves. Buddhism is also a very practical religion and aims at helping people to live their lives peacefully.
Buddhists also try to practice the Buddhist virtues actively in their everyday lives. The final goal of all Buddhist practice is to bring about that same awakening that the Buddha himself achieved through an active transformation of the heart and passions and the letting go of I. This goal though achieved individually points us to the greater concept of change through awakening to our individual issues and the beauty of that shared journey in all sentiment beings.
Peace and Love, Jim