Buddha called suffering a holy truth. He said that suffering has the ability to show us the path. I know what you are saying. What! How dare you? A lot of you are probably thinking about the pain and hurt in your life. And I bet you want to forget it. So do I. The truth is we have all suffered in some way. We see it everyday in the news. And I know that it is something we all want to avoid.
So this is even more confounding. Buddha also proposed to embrace our suffering and let it reveal the path to peace. You know reading that makes me even kind of angry. I am like how can he say that? Because if I didn’t have this problem or suffering my life would be so much better. It’s a strange concept to be told that you need to embrace your suffering but this is what they practice in Buddhism.
In Buddhism they teach the Four Noble Truths. The First Noble Truth is that suffering is a part of life whether we like it or not. The Second Noble Truth is that we need to examine our suffering and see where the source is and how it came to be. This means not being unconscious to our suffering. Otherwise it will persist. Buddhism doesn’t just teach that that there is suffering but it shows how to free oneself from suffering. Otherwise what would be the point.
You will like the next truth. The Third Noble Truth is the cessation of creation of suffering. And this truth is simple in its meaning. In order to stop suffering we must stop doing the things that make us suffer. Your probably saying to the computer screen. “Deyn thats exactly what I have tried to do!”
The Third Noble Truth is that freedom is possible. Yipeee. Buddha didn’t just teach that there was suffering but that you could be free from it aswel.
And the Fourth Noble Truth gives us the tools to end suffering. Sounds reasonable right? Buddha called this the Noble Eightfold Path it is the path that leads away from suffering (sorry to use that word again it comes up a lot in Buddhism). The Noble Eightfold Path is Right view, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
Buddhism really endorses mindfulness. Mindfulness is quite popular these days and it is about being consious and aware. A lot of what goes on in the world is unconsious. Because mindulness allows us to recognize our patterns and to stop them making us prisoners of habit. Which a lot of us are. Me included (not pretending to be perfect or some guru).
We all have consciousness. It is known in Buddhism that there is a need to protect our consciousness like we protect our body from toxic foods. That means the advertisements, TV and the media we watch, listen to and interact with can all be food for our consciousness and not all of it is good. We come into contact with sensory toxins meaning it deprives us of our happiness which can create fear, pain and a cycle of suffering. Often without us realizing it if we are not mindfull. That is why you have to be selective about what you watch, hear and touch.
What is enlightening (see what I did there) about Buddhism is that when they teach and discuss suffering they mean the sort of suffering that can show us the way out. So lets get into the Noble Eightfold Path because this is where we can find the way out of suffering.
Right View is being aware that we can transform suffering and understanding what brought about the suffering in the first place.
Right Thinking Descartes said “I think therefore I am”. In order to live a life of happiness we need to have thoughts that are in harmony. Most of our thoughts are not beneficial. Buddha advised to change a unwholesome thought with an wholesome thought in order to change the peg. Think he means order.
Right Mindfulnness most of ous are lost in the moment. We are either lost in the future or in the past. Again mindfulness gives attention to now. I know this is a lot to take in. But remember Buddhism is a practice. It is a religion. And it is not something that you master over night. You practice and work on different areas.
Right Speech Just look at the internet and you will see that the voice of the internet is inherently negative. Unloading or using our suffering through our voice to hurt others is not conducive to peace. A lot of people have lost the art of compassionate speaking in our society. Instead they use any medium to tear down others especially in Politics. Compassion is an art because it connects us to a more connected world and heartfelt collective. Which means transcending suffering.
Right Action is easy you do not engage of acts that will lead to the harm or detriment of others or yourself. When we are empowered our actions are endowed with empowerment. It sounds so easy right? Well than why is there all this suffering? Buddhism is a practice. And i’m not saying this is an overnight thing. It is gradual. Some people lose their way. But the more people in society that act empowered the less other will need to strip others of their power.
Right Diligence We all have things about us that makes us imperfect. Some us might have road rage. Others impatient. Some may be disloyal. But we also have qualities that makes us wonderful human beings. Right Diligence is encouraging these good aspects we all have. It sounds all so simple. But is it us that makes life complicated.
Right Concentration Buddhism teaches live every day of your life deeply, walking, eating, drinking, let it flow into every thing you do. You bless your life and others around you for doing it. Think about how you are if you are worried and now think the difference when you are calm. The effect that has on people is either harmful or beneficial. Both require concentration.
Right Livelihood If you want to make a living do something that will make others want to live and not die. This means not selling drugs, weapons or by damaging the environmment. A lot of people in todays culture get wealthy by wrong livliehood. But if you have a livliehood that brings suffering on others you pollute your own consciousness.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did please share with some of your friends and follow me on social media. I am on Facebook and Twitter. I would love to hear your thoughts and sentiments on Buddhism. Please comment below. And finally peace be with you.