Not long after his enlightenment, Buddha elucidated the "Four Noble Truths" in his first instruction to his disciples. Put simply, these truths go on to explain how:
(1) all who live suffer,
(2) suffering is a result of self,
(3) suffering can be avoided, and
(4) suffering can be extinguished by the "Eightfold Path."
"...and did the thought never come to you that also you are subject to death, that also you cannot escape it?""Thus has it been said by the Buddha, the Enlightened One: It is through not understanding, not realizing four things, that I, Disciples, as well as you, had to wander so long through this round of rebirths. And what are these four things? They are the Noble Truth of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering, the Noble Truth of the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering."
In the teachings and discipline of Buddhism, as with much of Eastern philosophy, one can find both comfort, and put to rest questions that all of us have wrestled with for much of our lives.
Meditating on some of the teachings has enabled me to achieve a serenity and peace of mind that I value greatly. More than ever, in these times of financial uncertainty, terrorism, strife, civil and religious wars, peace of mind through meditation helps keep me sane.