- 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
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- 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
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- To end suffering, one must adapt the Middle Way (no extremes) and follow the eight-fold path