Short answers to the most common questions about Buddhism.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing Buddhism, you’ve probably got questions. Especially if you’re just starting out.
In every issue of Lion’s Roar magazine, our editors answer a few common questions about Buddhism. These questions are helpful for beginners, and they’re also entry-points for profound explorations. Seemingly-simple questions like “What does it mean to call yourself a Buddhist?” can be riddles that Buddhists wrestle with for their entire lives!
Below, you’ll find all of the FAQs from Lion’s Roar magazine. If you’d like to pose your own question to the editors, you can send it to [email protected]nsroar.com. And to get every edition of new questions and answers — plus lots of other practical and profound Buddhist writing — become a subscriber to Lion’s Roar magazine.
What do all of the terms for Buddhist meditation mean?
I’m confused about all the different terms for meditation, like shamatha, vipassana, zazen, mindfulness, calm abiding, insight, just sitting. What's what?
Eyes Open or Closed?
Whether you keep your eyes open or closed during meditation depends on your approach.
What vows do Buddhists take and why?
In Buddhism, a vow is like a compass, but there are many different kinds of vows that Buddhists can take.
What are some good LGBTQ dharma books?
We recommend some great books by LGBTQ Buddhist teachers and practitioners.
Am I Breathing Wrong?
You can’t breathe wrong. Generally, Buddhist meditation is not a yogic practice in which you’re supposed to breathe in a particular way.
What is “Secular Buddhism”?
Secular Buddhists reexamine Buddhism through a rationalist and humanistic lens.
Can you recommend some Buddhist books for kids?
Buddhist children’s literature offers parents a fun, gentle way to share dharma concepts and practices with their kids.
Do Buddhists believe in sin?
Do Buddhists believe in sin? We answer your questions about Buddhism and meditation.
Now that I'm doing Buddhist meditation, should I give up therapy?
I’m in psychotherapy and it’s been very helpful to me. Now that I’ve started doing Buddhist meditation, should I give up therapy?
Is Buddhism a religion, philosophy, way of life, or science of mind?
"I’m confused. Buddhism is considered one of the world’s five great religions, but some people say it’s not a religion at all, but a philosophy, way of life, or science of mind. Which is it?" We answer your questions on Buddhism and meditation.