What does it mean to be a Buddhist? This is a question often asked by many curious individuals. This is a very complicated question to answer. In my opinion I think it is hard to specifically point to one doctrine or practice to describe what it signifies to be a Buddhist. This is because Buddhism is a very broad religion and rituals and how tasks are performed are based upon schools, location, and culture. .
Prince Siddhartha, also known as Buddha was the creator of Buddhism (Buddhism: an Overview, pg 335). He did not try to explain if there was an ultimate God or not, or what appropriate religious practices and dogmas were to accomplish becoming one with God. As an alternative, Buddha taught that Buddhist must make every effort to achieve freedom from suffering (Buddhist Mythology, 2002). I believe that because of Buddha not pointing out exactly what is to be done to be one with God, it is hard for Buddhist to precisely recognize what path to take to achieve oneness with God.
The Doctrine of Buddhist is known as dharma, which is the true reality (Langley, pg. 112). It symbolizes both law of life and teachings of Buddha. In believing dharma Buddhist follow the Four Noble Truths (Wilkinson, pg. 124). There are many ways to follow the Noble Truths. The first Noble Truth is that everything in life is impermanent and continuously changing. Since nothing is everlasting, life is disappointing. People desire and become attached to things which cannot last; this is the second Noble Truth. The third is as follows, there is no undying spirit, and what people call the identity is merely a collection of changing characteristics (Meredith, pg.26). The fourth Noble Truth is known as the Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path is simply the rules of life. For example, one of these rules is, "Right Thinking, meaning to strive for Perfect Wisdom, or the understanding of ultimate reality. The goal should be to overcome delusion and achieve freedom of mind" (Buddhist Mythology, 2002).