The Four Noble Truths
For a while now, I’ve been skipping my Buddhist meditation classes at the Buddhist Meditation Center in Lower Manhattan. The train schedule gets me home at a time I deem too late, so my weekly visits turned into zilch.
Last week I obtained a coaching client that expressed interest in learning the Buddhist philosophies. This motivated me to step back into the Buddhist community, even though I felt like I never really left.
The classes start with a 15 minute meditation, followed by a lecture, followed by a closing meditation. BOY OH BOY. Ever hear that saying, ‘You didn’t even know you were missing it, until you miss it?’ Yeah, this was one of those times.
And a great lecture indeed it was! Getting back to Buddhism was the self-care I didn’t realize I needed. The philosophy of the four noble truths is a truly pragmatic one. Basic principles of how to deal with this thing called life.
So NOW I will share with you the Buddhist lecture from that evening; modernized and interpreted by ME.
- Noble Truth #1: The truth that life is suffering.
I am only human, and I have found myself disgusted or disappointed with the way certain things have played out. Since I happen to be a sensitive person, I have found that it takes me longer than usual to let go, forgive, and move on from difficult situations. But the truth is life IS suffering and there really is no surefire way to beat it. If you think somehow you are going to have this perfect life with everything going smoothly and in your favor, you are sadly mistaken. Even myself, the girl who thinks life is unicorns and butterflies knows this not to be true. Buddhism and spirituality is the process of uncovering TRUTHS. This is the ultimate truth, according to Buddhists. Life is suffering, how we deal with this suffering determines true inner peace and bliss.
- Noble Truth #2: The truth of the cause of suffering
Many people believe that external things will make them happy. Once the external thing is gone (boyfriend, wife, new car, home, job, etc) they are left with just themselves. This is where attachment and detachment come in. If you are not attached to anything, and then something disappears, you are not in suffering.
- Noble Truth #3: The truth of the end of suffering
I just touched upon it in the second noble truth. Once we realize that attachment is suffering, we can understand how to end the suffering. This coincides with the following noble truth, where we begin to be conscious there is a path.
- Noble Truth #4: The truth of the path that frees us
Discovery that ourselves, and only ourselves have the power to choose the path to free ourselves. Yes, life is suffering, but it’s how we deal with the suffering that defines us. Only we can change how we are BEING, what we are DOING, and how we are THINKING.
Well, there you have it. The Four Noble Truths as I interpret them. Yes, some of this can be construed as BASIC KNOWLEDGE. But how basic is it that I see a lot of people in my everyday life miserable and playing the victim? TONS. TONS.
Buddhism for the win!!!