I've always been drawn to Buddhism, but have also always eschewed "joining" an organized religion in favor of self morality/spiritualism. About 2 months ago I started practicing meditation. I didn't start to seek any kind of enlightenment, rather to help ease anxiety and depression. However, it has lead me to a renewed interest in Buddhism while looking into different forms and practices for meditation. Without getting too long winded, the more I've looked into it the more drawn to the basic principles I feel. The Four Noble Truths, at least for me right now, are on point. The Eightfold Path describes many of the things I try to live by, and others I would aspire to. The Five Hindrances are exactly what got me into a state of stress and depression in the first place, and also what I struggle to overcome in meditation practice. Last night I got into reading about the steps to Calm Abiding and could actually pinpoint right where I was at (stage 2). Links for the curious: Spoiler 4 Truths - http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html Eightfold Path - http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html 5 Hindrances - http://www.suddhaka.com/meditation/5-hindrances-and-their-antidotes.html The concept of hitting bottom, or experiencing suffering before being able to start on the path also hits home. Unlike many other religions, Buddhism stresses that the light is within you (is in fact your natural state) rather than an omniscient external god. The idea of oneness with nature, the concept of what "mind" is, the principle that helping others is beneficial to yourself, these are all things that I agree with and came to secularly. So to the point(tl/dr): Are there any practicing Buddhist in here? If so how did you get there? Is Buddhism an actual "religion" or more of a guide for living well? Am I actually a Buddhist if I'm not necessarily interested in becoming a Buddha or Bodhisattva (teacher), but do embrace the concepts? I have many more questions and principles in mind, but will stop there so as not to overload the OP and give some others a chance to chime in. I'm also aware I'm lumping together different forms of Buddhism here, but for a start it's the general concepts I wanted to mention.