Not being Buddha is suffering

‘One thing I teach, dukkha and release from dukkha.‘ The Buddha

Maitreya Bodhisattva. National Museum of Korea, National Treasure 83

In the Four Noble Truths the Buddha gives the essence of his understanding, his awakening.

The truth of suffering (dukkha).

The truth of the origin of suffering.

The truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha).

The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.

Dukkha is translated as suffering or unsatisfactoriness. It literally means ‘souring’. Dukkha is experienced because we are not awakened.

An alternative understanding of  the Four Noble Truths

Not being Awake is Dukkha (suffering);

The cause of not being Awake is grasping;

The cessation of grasping is Awakening (Buddha);

The Eightfold Path is the life of Awakening.

Dukkha is the pain of not realising our true nature. (Zen Graffiti)


Click here to read more on the Four Noble Truths. An abridged version of the Saccavibhanga sutta taken from Volume III of The Middle Length Sayings (Majjhima-Nikaya) Translated by I.B. Horner and published by the Pali Text Society. In which Sariputta, one of the Buddha’s disciples, giving a detailed explanation of the Four Noble Truths, the cornerstone of the Buddha’s teach­ing — the truth of anguish, the arising of anguish, the stopping of anguish, and the course leading to the stopping of anguish.

Introduction to Buddhism at the Golden Buddha Centre, Totnes, Saturday 1st December (2.00-4.00pm) 2018.

Categories: Foundations of Buddhism



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