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I love Buddhism

The Four Noble Truths

In his very first sermon at Sarnath, the Buddha set forth the Four Noble Truths, the foundation for all his later teachings:

1 Life inevitably involves suffering, dissatisfaction, and distress.

2 Suffering is caused by craving, rooted in ignorance.

3 Suffering will cease when craving ceases.

4 There is a way to realize this state: the Noble Eightfold Path.

The Buddha was neither pessimistic nor optimistic about our human condition, but realistic. Sri Lankan monk and scholar Walpola Rahula spoke of the Buddha as “the wise and scientific doctor for the ills of the world.”7 In the Four Noble Truths, the Buddha diagnosed the human condition and proposed a cure, one step at a time. The Buddha’s First Noble Truth is the existence of dukkha: suffering and dissatisfaction. At some time or another, we all experience grief, unfulfilled desires, sickness, old age, physical pain, mental anguish, and eventually death. We may be happy for a while, but this happiness does not last. Even our personal identity is impermanent. What we regard as a “self” is an ever-changing bundle of fleeting feelings, sense impressions, ideas, and evanescent physical matter. One moment of identity leads to the next like one candle being lit from another, but no two moments are the same.

The Second Noble Truth is that the origin of dukkha is craving and clinging—to sensory pleasures, to fame and fortune, for things to stay as they are or for them to be different—and attachment to things and ideas. The Buddha taught that craving leads to suffering because of ignorance: We fail to understand the true, constantly changing nature of the things we crave. We grasp at things and hold onto life as we want it to be, rather than seeing things as they are, in a constant state of flux. (Fisher 143-144)

Fisher, Mary P. Living Religions, 9th Edition.…...

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