The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path

The heart of Buddhist teaching is discovered in the Four Noble Realities. These realities are what Siddhartha Gautama ended up being informed about when he ended up being the “buddha” or “enlightened one.” These realities are shared by all the various groups, schools of idea and departments within Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths are:

1. the reality of suffering – life involves suffering or discontentment. Even the most privileged lives include suffering or dissatisfaction of some sort.

2. the fact of desire – suffering is triggered by desire, specifically unenlightened desire

3. the fact of the cessation of desire – when unenlightened desire is stopped or gotten rid of from life, suffering ceases too

4. the reality of the 8-fold course – desire is informed through right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, ideal concentration, right understanding and best resolve

The 4 Noble Truths support the common characterization of the Buddha as a doctor or healer. He examines the life’s condition, makes a medical diagnosis, and supplies a prescription for the cure. Life involves suffering, even for those who lead fortunate lives. Bad things take place, people get sick, liked ones pass away, things do not go as prepared, and so on.

On closer evaluation, the suffering we experience since of these things comes not a lot from the things themselves, however from how we think of them and how we “desire” concerning them. Generally, we desire them to be different from how they are, or to supply something they can not provide. We want individuals to live forever – they will not. We desire relationships to remain the very same forever – they won’t. We want our bodies to remain the way they were when we were at our finest – they won’t. We desire everybody and whatever we love to remain the same and live permanently – they will not. Our ignorant, unenlightened desire drags us into these incorrect yearnings that can never be satisfied, so we suffer.

The prescription, according to the Buddha, is to cease this ignorant yearning – to enlighten our desires. And the way to do this is to launch the eightfold course.

The eightfold course consists of the essence of the Buddhist spiritual course. It consists of appropriate skills and behaviors, correct mental states and conditions, and appropriate aspirations and intentions. In other words, it is the complete ethical, meditative and spiritual life of Buddhism.

The truth that the Four Noble Facts do not include worshipping a divine being or even revering the Buddha himself make them appealing to people from other religious traditions, as well as to people who are more secular or philosophical in their outlook. These truths and practices can be implanted onto those from other traditions fairly quickly. Hence, we have people who call themselves “Zen Christians” or “JewBoos” and who practice a blend of Buddhism with Christianity or Judaism.

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