I am not Buddhist but lived in a Buddhist country for a couple of years. there were a wide variety of different sects as well as differing degrees of observance - from merely cultural tradition to extreme devotion. most of what i gleaned about the belief system was so "foreign" to my way of western thought that i had a really hard time understanding it. but i'd be interested in hearing your experience.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho