“Many aspects of the Buddha’s quest will appeal to the modern ethos ….. But the Buddha is also a challenge, because he is more radical than most of us. There is a creeping new orthodoxy in modern society that is sometimes called “positive thinking.” At its worst, this habit of optimism allows us to bury our heads in the sand, deny the ubiquity of pain in ourselves and others, and to immure ourselves in a state of deliberate heartlessness to ensure our emotional survival.
The Buddha would have had little time for this. In his view, the spiritual life cannot begin until people allow themselves to be invaded by the reality of suffering, realize how fully it permeates our whole experience and feel the pain of all other beings, even those whom we do not find congenial. It is also true that most of us are not prepared for the degree of the Buddha’s self-abandonment. We know that egotism is a bad thing; we know that all the great world traditions – not just Buddhism – urge us to transcend our selfishness. But when we seek liberation – in either a religious or secular way – we really want to enhance our own sense of self. A good deal of what passes for religion is often designed to prop up and endorse the ego that the founders of the faith told us to abandon. We assume that a person like the Buddha, who has, apparently, and after a great deal of struggle, vanquished all selfishness, will become inhuman, humorless and grim.
Yet that does not seem to have been true of the Buddha. He may have been impersonal, but the state he achieved inspired an extraordinary emotion in all who met him. The constant, even relentless degree of gentleness, fairness, equanimity, impartiality and serenity acquired by the Buddha touch a chord and resonate with some of our deepest yearnings. People were not repelled by his dispassionate calm, not daunted by his lack of preference for one thing, one person over another. Instead, they were drawn to the Buddha and flocked to him.” – Karen Armstrong’s “Buddha”, pg xxvii
What is the Noble truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, not to getwhat one wants is suffering: in short the five categories affected by clinging are suffering.
There is this Noble Truth of Suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before. This Noble Truth must be penetrated by fully understanding suffering: such was the vision, , insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.
This Noble Truth has been penetrated by fully understanding suffering:, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.
Buddhism: 4 Noble Thruths
The four noble truths are the key components to the understanding Buddhism and the Buddha’s teaching. The first noble truth is suffering or Dukkha, the personal experience that every human being endures throughout their entire life. The second noble truth is craving or Tanha, this offers an explanation about the suffering. The third noble truth is Nirvana, the ultimate goal of Buddhism. This is where one reaches the state of nirvana. It indicates the end of craving, and therefore the end of suffering all together.To reach this pinnacle of life as a Buddhistis to follow the fourth noble truth, The Noble Eightfold Path.
What we find in the noble eightfold path is that eight facets are divided into three groups: ethical conduct, mental discipline and wisdom. Three essential elements of any Buddhist practice. The Buddha taught the eightfold path at every opportunity in his discourses, and his instructions are as applicable today as when he first pronounced them.
Right Speech – refrain from lying, divisive speech, harsh speech, and senseless speech
Right Action – avoid physical misdeeds such as killing, stealing, hatred and disunity
Right Livelihood – choose a vocation that does not harm and is helpful to others
Right Effort – produce an attitude of steady and cheerful determination.
Right Concentration – see life, not as we are conditioned to seeing, but as it really is
Right Mindfulness – being aware of the present moment as we do in sitting Zazen
Right View – an accurate understanding of the nature of things; impermanent and the interrelatedness of all things
Right Intent – involves recognizing the equality of all life and compassion for all that life, beginning with yourself.
Understanding the Truths Takes Time
If you are still confused about the four Truths, take heart; it’s not so simple. Fully appreciating what the Truths mean takes years. In fact, in some schools of Buddhism, thorough understanding of the Four Noble Truths defines enlightenment itself. – Barbara Hoetsu O’Brien