This is certainly a very important question. If one believes in Buddhism without practicing it in daily life, the only benefit one will acquire is the planting of a seed for future Buddhahood. Such a person will hardly gain any benefit in this life. Buddhist practice is the realization of a Buddhist lifestyle. The four major aspects of practice are faith, precepts, meditative concentration, and wisdom.   Without faith, one has not even entered the gate of Buddhist practice. So, faith is the first requirement to practice Buddhism. And taking refuge in the Three Jewels is the first step to establishing faith.   There are many classes of precepts. As a basic requirement, it is enough if one can adhere to the five precepts and ten good deeds. Of course, it is even better if one can take the eight precepts and/or the bodhisattva precepts. For Buddhists, precepts function very much like defensive fortifications do to soldiers holding a garrison during a battle. If someone cannot keep the five precepts and the ten good deeds, she will not even have the disposition of a Buddhist. And if one practices meditative absorptions without keeping the precepts, the meditator will fall into demonic states.   Meditative concentration is the practice of collecting and focusing the mind so that external surroundings will not disturb it. This is a common practice emphasized by many religions, including all the “outer-path” religions in India. The Daoist technique of abdominal breathing called tuna and the Christian practice of praying are also kinds of meditation to develop concentration. The purpose of such meditation is to allow the mind to settle on one object. Only when the mind can become absorbed in one object can one truly appreciate the lofty, great value of religion and attain physical ease and mental contentment—an experience clearly superior to sensual pleasure. Once someone experiences this concentrated state of mind, his religious faith wil