I'm guessing that Buddha's audience for his talks didn't hear him mention "Buddhism." As far as what got written down about his instructions, there was always the straight man, Subhuti, asking "how" to do it.
In the Diamond Sutra, Buddha says: "As good and pious men and women come wishing to begin the practice of seeking to attain highest perfect wisdom, THEY WILL SIMPLY HAVE TO FOLLOW WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY, and very soon they will be able to subdue their discriminative thoughts and craving desires and will be able to attain perfect tranquillity of mind."
The essential word is FOLLOW, for it means to go in your heart where the words take you, and to pay attention to where and how you do that. Sometimes all the words we use about how to do this actually get in the way of doing it. Our ideas of what it is form a barrier which keeps us from experiencing it. Sometimes a Christian's ideas or fears about what Buddhism is get in the way of following the instruction. The instructions themselves are VERY EASY to follow.
This summer my 14-year old grandson and I went on our annual camping trip. We like this one place where there are campsites along a creek. You cannot see or hear anyone else because of the space between the camps. The altitude is 8,000 ft. The stream comes out of a clear mountain lake, and the 360 degree view is mountains, trees, and waterfalls.
He was sitting across the picnic table from me one sunny morning, chatting about nothing, and asked me if I could teach him to meditate. I said sure. He said "how about now?" I said sure. With very few words I guided him through some body awareness, breath awareness, and then was quiet. I didn't use more than 6 or 7 sentences. He sat there at the table for about 5 minutes, no lotus position, and then smiled a big smile at me. He asked me some question about the experience which I answered by telling him this was like a gate. Not a real gate, but a doorway in your heart to pure awareness. He lowered his eyes and sat for another 5 minutes while I watched. He then said grandma, "what I got was that we are happy and we are free." That's it exactly and in that order. "Grandma, this is way cool. This is the coolest thing that happened to me this summer!"
It is that easy when you want to look. When you are ready to follow where your guide, your teacher, or own heart leads you. It is an uncomplicated and direct experience devoid of any lables. Way cool!