Buddhism appeals to many Westerners because it is nonjudgmental, requires no faith and teaches ways to reduce suffering. It encourages personal responsibility, mindfulness, and compassion for ourselves and others. We'll discuss the life and times of the prince who became the Buddha, his search for enlightenment, his teachings, the historical development of Buddhism, plus current branches and their practices. We'll also discuss the work of some present-day teachers including the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh and prominent American authors. We'll have slide shows, videos, and readings, as well as discussions. This class assumes no prior knowledge, but also goes into reasonable depth to interest those with some previous experience.