The three Jewels
The foundations of Buddhist tradition and practice are the Three Jewels:
- the Buddha - The Awakened One;
- the Dharma - His teachings;
- the Sangha - The community of those who have achieved the realization of Emptiness.
Taking "Refuge in the Three Jewels" has traditionally been a declaration and commitment to being on the Buddhist path and in general distinguishes a Buddhist from a non-Buddhist.
Other Buddhist practices may possibly include:
- Following ethical precepts;
- Supporting the monastic community;
- Renouncing conventional living and becoming a monastic or a yogi;
- The practice of mindfulness through meditation;
- Cultivation of higher wisdom and discernment;
- Study of scriptures;
- Devotional practices and ceremonies,
and in the Mahayana tradition,
- The invocation of buddhas and bodhisattvas.