Buddhism was established 2,500 years ago in India. It refers to the teachings of Shakyamuni. These teachings were compiled into sutras (text). In the Lotus Sutra, he taught that it is possible for all people to attain Buddhahood. This is done through the manifestation of our buddha nature. By becoming aware of the wisdom and light within ourselves and bringing them into the present moment, we are able to clear away the delusion and attachments that inhibit us from spiritual growth and enlightenment.
There are basic principles common to all sects of Buddhism. These important tools are: The Seal of the Three Laws, The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path, and The Law of the Twelve Causes.
Originating in India, the philosophy and teachings soon traveled to China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, and into the western world. Buddhism is unique in its constant growth, function, and its adaptability to whatever culture it serves. Although exact numbers are unknown, it is estimated there are between 350 and 400 million Buddhists in the world.