There are many ways into understanding Buddhism or the Dharma.
You can look at the four noble truths, the eight fold path or be more general
and study Ethic, Meditation and Wisdom.
In Triratna we are open to all schools of Buddhism and all approaches to exploring the truth, including Theravada, Zen and Tibetan.
What you believe does matter in Buddhism but what you do in term of ethical behaviour and friendliness; working on your mind via meditation is considered more important in Triratna Buddhism than lifestyle.
The ultimate goal of all serious Buddhist is Enlightenment. For most of us that is a long way off. The path to that goal does bring it's own rewards on the way. Calmer, more content, clearer conscience. A broader and deeper group of friends, just some of the benefits of Buddhist practise.
Dharma. The truth or what the Buddha taught.
A Guide to the Buddhist Path by Sangharakshita
Introducing Buddhism by Chris Pauling
Sangharakshita a new voice in the Buddhist Tradition by Subhuti