A student asked the Buddha, "Teacher, many holy men profess to show the way to enlightenment. How am I to distinguish those who offer wisdom from the charlatans?"
The Buddha answered, “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Which is why I am an atheist.
Buddhists have described their practice as the Science of Life, and this agrees with my own preferred way of looking at things. I admire Buddhism, but they lose me with the mystical stuff. Call my way of looking at things, Bud Lite.
The approach to life that most agrees with my own reason and common sense is Epicureanism. Here is a sample of the teachings of Epicurus:
Truth can only be known by the evidence of the senses.
Pleasure is the chief good of life.
A tranquil state of mind is the chief pleasure.
Learning is valuable only in that it rids us of fear and teaches us to pursue pleasure intelligently.
Virtue is valuable only so far as it leads us to happiness.
It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing "neither to harm nor be harmed"), and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life.
Fashion, culture and civilization create unnecessary needs. Their pursuit is more likely to disturb than reward. Simple pleasures are more lasting and satisfying.
Who you share a meal with is more important than what you eat.
The History of Philosopy without any Gaps podcast has 3 commendable podcasts on the Principles, Ethics, and Theory of Epicurean Philosophy.
If you prefer less introspective fare, my other blog is for the more practical and professionally-minded reader