The Four Noble Truths
These are the foundation of the Buddha’s teachings. Understanding these truths are an important first step towards liberation.
The truth of suffering or dissatisfaction (dukkha)
The nature of all compound things is temporary. Things are created, age, wither and pass. We are born, we age, get sick and die. The nature of the individual is temporary. It is our natural state as an individual to suffer from birth, aging, sickness and death. However, we compound this suffering by imposing expectations, preferences and aversions on the world. The dissatisfaction that arises from the dissonance between how we want things to be and how they are is of our own making. Since it is our creation, we have power over this type of suffering.
The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
Disappointment arises and is sustained when we link our happiness and contentment to temporary things. Satisfaction with temporary things is temporary. Satisfaction that is contingent on a preferred outcome is temporary and only comes when our expectations are met (often the odds are poor). This is the cause of suffering.
The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
If we understand the causes of suffering, there is a way to be free from suffering. Freedom from suffering is called Nirvana or enlightenment.
The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)
Seeking and understanding the nature of what is true, eternal, and real is the path away from suffering. This is the Eightfold Path
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration