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Thread: Buddhism - The Four Noble Truths

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    Senior Member Benjamin's Avatar
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    Buddhism - The Four Noble Truths

    In the past six months or so, I've become a practicing Buddhist. No, I haven't shaved my head and I don't chant "Om Mani Padme Hum" on the street corner. But I do follow the teachings of the Buddha and it has had a profound effect on my life.

    I was born Jewish and retain my Jewish identity, but my practice is Buddhism. There are so many Jews who follow the path of the Buddha, we have a name: JuBu.

    As many as 1/3 of American Buddhists are Jews. Many of the pioneers of Western Buddhism are also Jewish. Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, and Joseph Goldstein are some of the leaders of American Theravada Buddhism.

    There is a joke in the Jewish community about a Jewish mother who travels to a remote Buddhist temple in Nepal to speak with the revered guru there. Finally granted a meeting, she says just three words: "Sheldon, come home."

    There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be a Buddhist. Most religions are about belief. Buddhism is about practice and with practice and persistance, you can eliminate suffering in your life (or at least reduce it). If you're able to eliminate all suffering, you've achieved Nirvana. I'll try my best to explain.

    At the core of the Buddha's teachings are the Four Noble Truths.

    The Buddha taught that in life there is suffering. It's a misnomer that he said life itself is suffering, or that everything in life is suffering. I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that there is suffering in life. That is the First Noble Truth.

    The Second Noble Truth is the cause of suffering. The cause of suffering is desire. We desire sensual pleasure and often act in inappropriate ways to satisfy that desire. We desire pleasure from food and wind up over eating. We desire mild weather and are not happy when it's cold or rainy. We have desire to be free from physical pain and suffer when we're hurt.

    The Third Noble Truth is that we can get rid of the suffering by getting rid of the desire. When we release our attachment to the craving for things to be different, we eliminate our suffering.

    The Forth Noble Truth explains how to get rid of the craving. It is by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is kind of an user's manual for the mind and I'll describe that in detail as time allows. It will probly take several months and hopefully will be of interest to some here.

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    Re: The Four Noble Truths

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    Quote Originally Posted by Benjamin View Post
    In the past six months or so, I've become a practicing Buddhist. <snip>

    At the core of the Buddha's teachings are the Four Noble Truths.

    The Buddha taught that in life there is suffering. It's a misnomer that he said life itself is suffering, or that everything in life is suffering. I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that there is suffering in life. That is the First Noble Truth.

    The Second Noble Truth is the cause of suffering. The cause of suffering is desire. We desire sensual pleasure and often act in inappropriate ways to satisfy that desire. We desire pleasure from food and wind up over eating. We desire mild weather and are not happy when it's cold or rainy. We have desire to be free from physical pain and suffer when we're hurt.

    The Third Noble Truth is that we can get rid of the suffering by getting rid of the desire. When we release our attachment to the craving for things to be different, we eliminate our suffering.

    The Forth Noble Truth explains how to get rid of the craving. It is by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The Noble Eightfold Path is kind of an user's manual for the mind and I'll describe that in detail as time allows. It will probly take several months and hopefully will be of interest to some here.
    The Second Noble Truth is that there is suffering.
    The Third Noble Truth is that there is a way to cease of suffering.
    The Fourth Noble Truth is the path to cease suffering.

    So to follow the path of the Buddha's 'recipe' we simply use our Wisdom and Compassion and look at our mind and check on it to see if we are suffering (as it is painful) from anger, attachment or ignorance. By keeping an eye on the mind, we can slowly bring it under control and cease all negative actions of body, speech and mind.
    No big mystery!

    Peace and Happiness.

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