Buddhism 101: The Short Story

Refuge Recovery is a Buddhism based treatment program incorporating Buddhist philosophy, practice, and ethic for spiritual awakening as well as healing. Learn more about where we draw our inspiration from in this brief description of how Buddhism came to be.

Buddha and Buddhism are Different

Buddha was not a Buddhist. So to say, he did not follow himself! Buddhism is the set of ethics, philosophies, beliefs, rituals, and practices that formed after the Buddha attained enlightenment. Buddha was once a man named Siddhartha. Siddhartha was a prince who felt skeptical of his opulent lifestyle hidden within the castle. Despite having all the wealth and riches of the world at his command, Siddhartha was not happy. He didn’t feel satisfied with the material world. On an outing from the castle, Siddhartha experiences death, sickness, and aging for the first time. Inspired by the truth of life, which he had found to be suffering, he took off on what would become an infamous journey to find the truth. Through many forms and practices, Siddhartha eventually discovered Nirvana, in which moment he was enlightened. Unlike other spiritual icons, once Siddhartha became the Buddha, which is a term referring to “the enlightened one” he did not travel and preach. Instead, he encouraged those who were curious to come and question him.

Siddhartha Reached Enlightenment Through Meditation

As he sat beneath the Bodhi tree, a fig tree, and meditated, Siddhartha focused on the breath. In doing so, he allowed his mind to detach from all the things that caused him to suffer. In his life he had experienced relationship, wealth, poverty, starvation, and pain. Practicing mindfulness, rather inventing mindfulness, through his breath he noticed these attachments and how the mind created stories around them. Recognizing that there was no one thing in particular that made him who he was, he was able to see that everything is part of an ongoing stream of life. The perspective he gained was enough to help him transcend all that suffering and he became as many have called it, “awake”.

Developing Buddhism

Now the Buddha, the enlightened and awake embodiment of transcendence, Buddha developed his understanding more articulately. He outlined the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. These, when practiced and embraced fully, were to be the path every man and woman could take toward enlightenment.


Mindfulness is a way of life as much as it is a practice of spirituality. Refuge Recovery offers a sanctuary for healing, using progressive evidence based techniques combined with Buddhist based mindfulness practices. We believe our program not only helps treat addiction and alcoholism but provides a lifetime of wellness to clients. Call or text us today for more information 323-207-0276.

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