Buddhism is a nontheistic religion founded on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, or the Buddha. The purpose of one’s life is found in attaining enlightenment. Buddhism stresses the importance of self-awareness and virtuous living.

Important Terms

  • Gassho: To place one's hands together in reverence.
  • Osenko: To burn incense in offering to the Buddha.

Important Religious Texts

Sutras are the collected oral teachings of the Buddha.


There are three denominations within Buddhism and each focuses on a different aspect: right thought, right speech and right action. Buddhism as a whole emphasizes the reality of suffering in life and the ability to transcend suffering through enlightenment.

Worship, Prayer, and Practice

Central to the Buddhist tradition is meditation. It is through the simple act of meditation that one may achieve enlightenment. Buddhists occasionally gather at temples where the focus is either on silent meditation or teachings by a priest, monk or nun. Chanting and offerings of incense are also included in worship.

Faith Communities

Carrie Roberts
Director of Campus Ministry
(630) 829-6028

Kathryn Heidelberger
Campus Minister, Coordinator of Ecumenical and Interfaith Engagement
(630) 829-6336