• The Buddha observed that no one is free from death and unhappiness (dukkha)
  • Buddha looked for the source of that unhappiness (like a doctor looking for the source of an illness)
  • These are the four noble truths, and they are central to understanding Buddhism
  • Some people see great wisdom in these truths; others find them dark and pessimistic.  What do you think?

1.  The Noble Truth of Suffering

  • To live is to suffer
  • The experiences of birth, disease, death, frustration, etc.
  • Being apart from loved ones, being around those whom we dislike, not getting our way, etc.

2.  The Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering

  • The cause of suffering is negative, selfish desire, which is the result of ignorance or delusion
  • The possessions we desire cause the most suffering
  • People greedy for the wrong kinds of pleasures do great harm to their bodies
  • We all have basic needs  – food, clothing & shelter – one should enjoy them without being greedy

3.  The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering

  • The goal of Buddhism is to end suffering (to reach Nirvana)
  • This can only happen when we rid ourselves of greedy desire
  • To attain Nirvana is to live in a blissful, happy and content state where nothing causes physical or emotional suffering.
  • Remember, Nirvana is not a place (like heaven) it is a state of being

4.  The Noble Truth of the Extinction of Suffering

  • To end suffering, one must adapt the Middle Way (no extremes) and follow the eight-fold path
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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