4 Noble Truths

The 4 Aryan (or Noble) Truths are maybe one of the most basic formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. They are expressed as follows:1. All presence is dukkha. The word dukkha has actually been variously equated as ‘suffering’, ‘anguish’, ‘pain’, or ‘unsatisfactoriness’. The Buddha’s insight was that our lives are a battle, and we do not find ultimate happiness or fulfillment in anything we experience. This is the problem of existence.2.

The reason for dukkha is yearning. The natural human tendency is to blame our difficulties on things outside ourselves. But the Buddha states that their real root is to be found in the mind itself. In particular our propensity to grasp at things (or additionally to push them away) positions us fundamentally at odds with the method life truly is.3.

The cessation of dukkha features the cessation of yearning. As we are the ultimate cause of our difficulties, we are also the option. We can not change the things that occur to us, however we can change our responses.

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