The main reason that the teaching of Buddhism often seems not to be a religion in the usual sense of the word is that Shakyamuni Buddha did not admit the existence of a transcendent god controlling human destiny. The Buddha never preached belief in a god who created this world and presides over the workings of nature - an absolute being by whom people are saved if they pray to or worship.
The Sanskrit word buddha means "awakened" or "enlightened." The teaching that the Buddha preached can be understood by anyone who has a high enough degree of reason. It is not something visionary that only an inspired person can perceive, nor is it something bestowed by an absolute being in whom one simply has faith.
Shakyamuni Buddha did not regard this universe as God's creation or his conquest, but as resulting from the relation of cause and condition by which all phenomena are produced (engi, or dependent origination). Causation means a cause (in) and a condition (en) combining to produce an effect (ka) and a recompense (ho). In this world, there is nothing unchangeable or fixed in form. All things have a direct cause. When this comes into contact with an opportunity or condition, the result of this conjunction appears as a phenomenon (effect). This effect leaves behind traces (recompense); thus Shakyamuni Buddha interpreted all things in the world.
"Learning the Dharma" means understanding the Buddha's teachings correctly and regularly applying them in daily life. Seeing how the Truth and the Dharma apply in various situations is one of the practices of "Learning the Dharma."
"Correctly acknowledging the Buddha's teachings" means understanding the Buddha's wishes by showing reverence for other people's buddha-nature and cultivating compassion. However, even if we try to do that, conflicts may arise, and we should then ask ourselves if we did the right thing. Were we self-centered? Did we rectify our behavior? Doing this regularly will improve us.
Three Seals of the Law
Four Noble Truths
Law of Twelve Causes