Originating in India, Buddhist philosophy gradually spread throughout Asia to Central Asia, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, as well as the East Asian countries of China, Mongolia, Korea, and Japan.
Buddhism teaches followers to perform good and wholesome actions, to avoid bad and harmful actions, and (important to this site) to purify and train the mind.
The morality of Buddhism is based on the principles of harmlessness and moderation.
Mental training focuses on moral discipline (sila), meditative concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (prajña).
The aim of these practices is to awaken the practitioner to the realization of "anatta (the absence of a permanent or substantial self) and achieve enlightenment. Enlightenment leads to Nirvana (Sanskrit: "extinguishment").
While Buddhism does not deny the existence of supernatural beings (in fact, many are discussed in Buddhist scripture), it does not ascribe power for creation, salvation or judgement to them. Like humans, they are regarded as having the power to affect worldly events, and so some Buddhist schools associate with them via ritual.
Statues of Buddha remind followers to practice right living. These aren't items of worship as many "anit-idolators" believe.
In order to fully understand the noble truths and investigate whether they were in fact true, Buddha recommended that a certain lifestyle or path be followed which consists of:
1. Right Understanding
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
Sometimes in the Pali Canon the Eightfold Path is spoken of as being a progressive series of stages which the practitioner moves through, the culmination of one leading to the beginning of another, but it is more usual to view the stages of the 'Path' as requiring simultaneous development.
The Eightfold Path essentially consists of meditation and cultivating the positivity. The Path may also be thought of as a the way of developing mental and moral discipline.