The general question of, "What is Buddhism?" can be answered in a variety of ways from a simple dictionary definition, to a complicated historical one depending upon one's tastes. There is, of course, a spiritual answer to the aforementioned question, one that is not often taken up, which goes in the direction of mysticism; which may even include such subjects as reincarnation and karma. But for the purposes of this blog, I wish to define Buddhism in a profoundly mystical way which goes against the stream of current views which tend to be more or less anti-religious.
The word "Buddhism" is really about the distinctive practice of awakening from the slumber of our lower nature that is blindly espoused to our species-specific world and seeing, directly, the living essence of our universe. This essence or substance is free of conditioning being in this sense immutable, simple (not plural), perfect, free of suffering, and so on. To reach this state requires, as practice, the transcendence of all that is mutable, suffering, lacks ātman and much more, including transcendence of the working of our conditioned consciousness. Only then will this mysterious essence bloom for us, illuminating the universe.
Beholding this essence for the first time, in which mind is pure and luminous, this luminosity suffuses every part of one's body, even their thoughts, like a person whose body is completely covered by a white cloth. No part is untouched. This is not the discovery of some alien substance but it more like the subject which has found itself, also, as object. At this point, both subject and object disappear. There is Mind-only or the pure Mind.
Some who read this will find it hard to understand. Some will even go to war against it or ridicule it because if this is all true, they've wasted their lives; who only know the way to dusty death (Macbeth). This age is a perilous one. Not because there is some great outside danger but because mankind is being led by those who have stopped searching for truth; who, in every way, are anti-religious. In addition to this, the great complexity of this civilization has not made the truth easier to seek, but quite the opposite. It is even more difficult to find. In this regard, knowing what Buddhism means is important. It has a path that leads to truth against all the negative forces that presently confront the individual.