What Else Did the Buddha Teach? 

dependent origination

A Buddha statue in Langza, India | Photo by Yash Raut https://tricy.cl/3cg3SpI

The Buddha’s teachings go far beyond the four noble truths and the eightfold path. The Buddha’s complete teachings, also known as the dharma, include doctrines on the nature of reality and the mind, detailed expositions of both wholesome and hindering mental states, teachings on compassion and the path of the bodhisattva, and much more. 

Beyond the foundation teachings on the causes of suffering and its cessation, the Buddha taught his followers about things like how to live ethically, how to cultivate an awakened mind and heart, and how to achieve a favorable rebirth. Everything he taught is rooted in the path to freedom from suffering and the possibility that all beings could achieve unconditional happiness. 

Here are some more core teachings in Buddhist philosophy, including the ten paramis, the seven factors of enlightenment, dependent origination, and more.

Discover Level 2, Deck 9: 

What are the five hindrances? These negative states of mind, including ill will and doubt, are seen as a hindrance to Buddhist practice. 

What is impermanence? One of the most fundamental truths of Buddhism is this: Everything changes. 

What is dependent origination? Nothing exists independently. The links in the chain of dependent origination, or conditioned co-arising, are what drive the never-ending cycle of life, death, and rebirth. 

What is bodhicitta? Born of compassion and a desire that all beings be free of suffering, bodhicitta (“awakening mind”) is the enlightened heart-mind.  

What are the seven factors of enlightenment? These seven qualities of the awakened mind deepen our meditation practice and support us along the spiritual path. 

What are the paramitas (paramis)? The 10 “perfections”—which include patience, generosity, and wisdom—are a set of virtues that Buddhists strive to cultivate. 

What is the doctrine of two truths (absolute and relative)? There are two ways of viewing the world: as things appear to be, and as they truly are. 

What is skillful means (upaya)? Skillful means is how teachers deliver the right teaching to a student in the most effective manner—and it’s one of the reasons there are so many different types of Buddhism. 

What are the six realms? Represented in the Wheel of Life (bhavachakra), the six realms of rebirth are a framework for where beings are reborn according to the way they lived. 

Do Buddhists believe in God? Buddhism is generally considered a nontheistic religion that doesn’t require a belief in a supreme being. But there are supernatural beings in Buddhist cosmology. 

What do Buddhists believe? While there’s no simple answer to this question, Buddhists generally abide by the Buddha’s teachings on the nature of suffering and the path to liberation. 

What do Buddhists mean when they talk about emptiness? An often-misunderstood term, emptiness (shunyata) refers not to “nothingness” but to interdependence and the emptiness of a separate, fixed existence. 

What is a bodhisattva? A bodhisattva (“awakened being”) is one who has vowed to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. 


Recommended Reading: 


Tricycle is more than a magazine

Gain access to the best in sprititual film, our growing collection of e-books, and monthly talks, plus our 25-year archive

Subscribe now