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The Four Noble Truths - A Simple Approach

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posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:14 PM
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I've been working on the Four Noble Truths with my kids, as a way of developing a sense of direction in life. I've found them to be very useful. It is a path towards peace, happiness, balance, and understanding.

The first noble truth: Suffering Exists.

We all suffer. Everybody suffers. That's why we take pain pills, or drink, or seek therapy, or shout and scream - we are suffering. Suffering can be as simple as a burn on the stove, or as complex as a heartache from a breakup. But there is a disease of this age where people don't know that they are suffering - to them it is just life.

The first step on this path is to label the suffering. Touch it gently with the mind and say "suffering". Say it out loud, "I am suffering". Say what you are suffering from. "I am suffering because I am being bullied at school." "I am suffering because I feel I am not attractive to others." "I am suffering from this depression." The very first step to fixing problems is to admit you have the problem, and identify it. Don't be harsh though; just gently label it "suffering", and have love and compassion towards yourself.

The second noble truth: There Is A Path To Suffering.

We are responsible for our lives, and we have walked all the steps into our current situation. We have created much of our own suffering. Suffering usually doesn't just "happen" to us - we bring it on ourselves with our actions and attitudes. There is a path to suffering. If you drink too much you will get a hangover. If you lie, you will not be trusted. If you eat poorly, you will feel sick. There is a cause for much of our suffering, and identifying the cause is key to ending the pattern of suffering.

So the first step is to admit and be honest that you are suffering. The next step is to identify the path that led to this suffering. Once you are aware of the path, you have the key to prevent that suffering from coming in the future.

The third noble truth: Well-being exists.

Sometimes we get so stuck in our suffering that we overlook the good things in life, the things that bring us joy. It is important to have hope, and identify the good things in life we have, and can have if we want. Are you a liar? Know that truthfulness exists. Are you a coward? Know that courage exists. Are you sad? Know that happiness exists. You need to turn your head towards the light if you wish to find your way out of the darkness.

The fourth noble truth: There Is A Path To Well-Being.

There are common, natural, human values that we can use as our guides on a path towards happiness and well-being. These paths resonate naturally with the human heart, and the paths they light up are quickly verifiable as being worth the walk. Once you take these paths to heart, the universe of love starts showing you where you need to go to find happiness.

The traditional 8-fold path to well being is this:
1. Right View - To see and understand things as they really are.
2. Right Intention - To put your best foot forward, working for good in your life and the lives of others.
3. Right Speech - To only speak what is true, and to avoid gossip, bragging, and slander.
4. Right Action - To do what needs to be done, for yourself, and your community.
5. Right Livelihood - To find employment in a job that doesn't create suffering for you or others.
6. Right Effort - To put your heart and soul into your actions.
7. Right Mindfulness - To pay attention, and spend your time in your real life, in the now.
8. Right Concentration - To attain sharpness of mind, which enhances all the other attributes.

Eating well and getting enough sleep help too. Hope you find this info useful; I have used it to refine my life into something I feel good about, where I have inner peace, and am able to provide for my family, and do it with honor and respect. Honor is something that should get a higher priority these days. My kids use it too, and they have had success in overcoming some tough problems, and are on a path to happiness as we speak.




posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:22 PM
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I like that, and the eight-fold path also. It's Buddhist, right? My Buddhist best friend introduced me to them, and they seemed a good idea from a philosophical POV. I don't have much use for Buddhism or Daoism as religions, but I read the Tao Te Ching, and loved it. Knowing my best friend as well I do, I told him that I was a better Buddhist than he wold ever be, and he had taken his refuge vow already. I'm Christian, BTW, but I respect Buddhism except for the idols and gods - Daoism seems more secular.

BTW, have you heard of the Nine Noble Virtues? www.haxton.org...
edit on 21-12-2013 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 10:32 PM
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A bit more on the causes of suffering,delusive mental activity is the cause of all suffering the origins of suffering are greed anger and ignorance these are our chains to the phenomenal world correct understanding of the four noble truths is the way towards ending suffering



posted on Dec, 21 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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Lazarus Short
I like that, and the eight-fold path also. It's Buddhist, right? My Buddhist best friend introduced me to them, and they seemed a good idea from a philosophical POV. I don't have much use for Buddhism or Daoism as religions, but I read the Tao Te Ching, and loved it. Knowing my best friend as well I do, I told him that I was a better Buddhist than he wold ever be, and he had taken his refuge vow already. I'm Christian, BTW, but I respect Buddhism except for the idols and gods - Daoism seems more secular.

BTW, have you heard of the Nine Noble Virtues? www.haxton.org...
edit on 21-12-2013 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah


I don't mean any disrespect but I personally thought it was pretty funny you told your friend you was a better Buddhist than he would ever be.

3. Right Speech - To only speak what is true, and to avoid gossip, bragging , and slander

Don't take it personally Brother.
edit on 21-12-2013 by TheProphetMark because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 12:21 AM
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If you actually limit suffering to physical suffering, you don't really grasp what it is saying.

suffering is desire.

it is what motivates us to seek comfort.

Not just pain or anguish...

from there, the rest follows..



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by TheProphetMark
 


No problem - I meant it in a certain sense, and you would have to be well acquainted with both of us to appreciate what I said and meant. I don't really know if I was bragging or not...but I knew it was true.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 07:01 AM
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winofiend
If you actually limit suffering to physical suffering, you don't really grasp what it is saying.

suffering is desire.

it is what motivates us to seek comfort.

Not just pain or anguish...

from there, the rest follows..


I agree with you, and much Buddhist literature has been written about attachment and desire. Personally, I don't teach about attachment so much at the introductory level. Many people need to get their physical lives in order and their emotional lives in order before they can grasp and apply the deeper level concepts such as the roots of desire, etc.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 07:10 AM
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Lazarus Short
I like that, and the eight-fold path also. It's Buddhist, right? My Buddhist best friend introduced me to them, and they seemed a good idea from a philosophical POV. I don't have much use for Buddhism or Daoism as religions, but I read the Tao Te Ching, and loved it. Knowing my best friend as well I do, I told him that I was a better Buddhist than he wold ever be, and he had taken his refuge vow already. I'm Christian, BTW, but I respect Buddhism except for the idols and gods - Daoism seems more secular.

BTW, have you heard of the Nine Noble Virtues? www.haxton.org...
edit on 21-12-2013 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah


Yes, it is a Buddhist teaching. I don't consider Buddhism a religion, but rather a philosophy. Buddha is not considered to be a god, but merely "awake". Buddhism is actually pretty compatible with Christianity, because it is not about the afterlife, just about living a good life and waking up to reality here on Earth.

There's a good book I've read by Thich Nhat Hanh entiitled Living Buddha, Living Christ which discusses integrating the two.

Just started lookingat the Nine Noble Virtues - pretty similar to the Noble Eightfold Path. I like it.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by TwoTonTommy
 


Just finished listening to this video...



...and then came on here to see this thread. The Master works in mysterious ways.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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It is my belief that suffering is a necessary element of living. Without suffering, wellbeing has no inherent value, just like money has no value when you have nothing but money.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 07:53 AM
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LiveForever8
reply to post by TwoTonTommy
 


Just finished listening to this video...



...and then came on here to see this thread. The Master works in mysterious ways.


I am a big fan of Alan Watts. Thanks for sharing.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by TwoTonTommy
 


Huge fan of Watts as well.
I'm sure that you have, but I have to ask anyway - Have you read the Dhammapada?
Dhammapada



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 11:09 AM
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sageturkey
reply to post by TwoTonTommy
 


Huge fan of Watts as well.
I'm sure that you have, but I have to ask anyway - Have you read the Dhammapada?
Dhammapada


It's been a long time since I've read the Dhammapada. Thanks for the link, I'd love to go through it again.



posted on Dec, 22 2013 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by TwoTonTommy
 


You're most welcome! I have found many good things at Ishwar.
I favor their translation over other sites, but the Illustrated Dhammapada is a pretty good one too.
Treasury of Truth - Dhammapada

I love to get out and explore the prairie, it really opens things up for me. After a 15-year relationship end, I struggled with rejection issues. I found that walking alone in the great expanses has brought me healing beyond belief and is best summed-up by Section 21, verse 302.

One who sits alone, sleeps alone and walks alone, who is strenuous and subdues oneself alone, will find delight in the solitude of the forest.
edit on 22-12-2013 by sageturkey because: Change verbage





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