What are the main principals of Buddhism?
Sometimes when I'm asked to describe the Buddhist teachings, I say this:
(1) Everything is connected;
(2) Nothing lasts;
(3) You are not alone.
These first three are really just a restatement of the traditional Three
Marks of Existence: non-self, impermanence, and suffering. The fact
that we all suffer means we are all in the same boat, and that's what
allows us to feel compassion.
(4) Life is full of suffering
(5) Suffering exists because of our desires and aversions.
(6) There is a state of mind in which suffering ends (enlightenment).
(7) There is a path to attain this state; That path is called the Eight Fold Path.
Items 4 - 7 are the Four Noble Truths.
(8) Bodichitta (Loving- Kindness / Compassion) is the first step to
enlightenment (and to solving the world's problems)
(9) The 5 Precepts concisely describe a moral life
The 5 precepts are: (1) not to take the life of any sentient being, (2) not
to take anything not freely given, (3) to abstain from sexual
misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to (4) refrain from untrue
speech, and (5) to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
(10) Mindfulness of thoughts and actions are the key to wisdom and therefore
to the path of enlightenment.