Buddha taught a path to the direct Insight into the Nature of Reality which provides a path to freedom from suffering. The Buddhist path is one of meditation to control and transcend the "conceptualizing mind", in order to be free from our habitual (life-time) habits and beliefs. In that freedom (from the bondage of one's own unclear thinking/beliefs) we can intuit (see directly) things as they are (without interpretation) and then know what Is; and That which we Are.
Essentially Buddhism is not a religion, but a philosophy and a way of living.
The fundamental path in Buddhism begins with "Loving Kindness", the development and practice of compassion for all beings.
"Learn to look with an equal eye upon all beings, seeing one Self in all." -- Srimad Bhagavatam
I studied many systems of meditation and philosophy (Buddhist, Advaita, Vedanta, Siddha Yoga). In my early 20's, I traveled to India, Nepal, Japan to study and meditate and I did a 6-month silent retreat in a remote monastery in Nepal.
I have also studied various religions and philosophy including Kabbalah, Tantric Yoga and Surat Shabd Yoga systems.
This path is one of living life 200%, life is the expression and experience of Being being, eternally becoming. Life is not to be avoided, or simply "survived", it should be transformed into celebration;
The Western Path provides for a fuller experience, without negating the depth of life's experiences, and at that same time enhancing the total experience with the Wisdom of Insight to reach a balance, fully passionate and fully accepting of things as they are, the unfolding of the Eternal Being is the process and the goal is simply to be fully One with the Eternal Now, this Moment.
So you should see this fleeting world, a star at dawn,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud.
A bubble on a stream,
A flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream.
For more information on Buddhism see
The Heart Sutra (The
essential Sutra of Buddhism; Read it and a Detailed commentary on it.)
Here you can also find a Western Explanation of the Eternal Truth underlying the Heart Sutra ( direct link here )
Buddhist Tenents (fundamental principles of Buddhism)
Buddhist Books (a few favorites)