If you have read any of my earlier posts you were exposed to the Four Noble Truths and each of the steps in the Eightfold Path. I like to look at the Eightfold Path as the process and guidance that can help you end suffering and lead an ethical life. I attempted to provide some detail about each of the steps in the Eightfold Path that relate to living in this world, although what the Buddha taught is as applicable in this age as it was then. As I studied each of the steps I found the concepts to be fairly straightforward, but difficult to implement. The benefits far out way the challenges, and it may take years before you master all the steps, or you may already be living a life that puts you very close to attaining enlightenment. Of course there is no specific time table for any of us, and the journey should be viewed as a great reward unto itself. You can read about each of the steps in the path by following these links:
- Right View
- Right Intention
- Right Speech
- Right Action
- Right Livelihood
- Right Effort
- Right Mindfulness
- Right Concentration
I hope this post will help you has it has helped me be more centered and live in the present. I am still working on each of these steps, and need to review them periodically as my own journey has just begun.
This is the first in a number of posts on Buddhism. When I mention that life is dukkha the first meaning is that everyone will encounter suffering in their life at one time or another. This is referred to as the first Nobel Truth. This suffering is the result of pain we all experience in our lives. There are 6 primary conditions in life that we all experience:
- The trauma of birth – Many Psychoanalysts attribute anxiety to the trauma that you go through when born.
- The pathology of sickness – We all will experience sickness and various illnesses over the course of our lifetime.
- The morbidity of decrepitude – The great vitality of our youth later turns to worry and fear of aging.
- The phobia of death – As we age we begin to worry about dying, this is one of our greatest fears as it is most certain.
- To be tied to what one dislikes – This could be many things such as a job, a relationship, an illness.
- To be separated from what one loves – This separation again can come in many forms, but it an inevitable burden we must deal with.
As much as we try to avoid the pain and suffering of life, it is inescapable unless we train our minds by understanding the Four Noble Truths and the path to follow that can alleviate the suffering.
In my next post I will talk about the 2nd Noble Truth which points to the cause of dukkha.
If you would like to learn more please read “Buddhism a Concise Introduction”.
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