End of Suffering

Death Valley

The Four Noble Truths

1. All things and experiences are marked by suffering or disharmony
and frustration (dukkha).
2. The arising of suffering or disharmony or frustration comes from desire
or craving and clinging.
3. To achieve the cessation or end of suffering or disharmony or frustration,
let go of desire or craving and clinging.
4. The way to achieve that cessation of suffering or disharmony and frustration,
is walking the Eightfold Path.

The Eightfold Path to the Cessation of Suffering

1. Right Understanding of the following facts:
the truth about suffering … (The Four Truths);
everything is impermanent and changes;
there is no separate individual self, this is an illusion. (We are one!)
2. Right Determination to:
give up what is wrong and evil;
undertake what is good;
abandon thoughts that have to do with bringing suffering to any conscious being;
cultivate thoughts of loving kindness, that are based on caring about others’
suffering, and sympathetic joy in others’ happiness.
3. Right Speech:
Abstain from telling lies.
Abstain from talk that brings harm or discredit to others
(such as backbiting or slander) or talk that creates hatred or disharmony
between individuals and groups.
Abstain from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious, or abusive language.
Abstain from idle, useless, and foolish babble and gossip.
Abstain from recrimination and negative statements.
Abstain from harsh speech—practice kindly speech.
Abstain from frivolous speech—practice meaningful speech.
Abstain from slanderous speech—practice harmonious speech.
Speak the truth if it is useful and timely. Practice only necessary speech.
Let your speech be filled with loving kindness. Speak that which alleviates suffering.
4. Right Action:
Peaceful, honorable conduct; abstain from dishonest dealings; take concrete steps
necessary to foster what is good.
Do things that are moral, honest, and alleviate suffering. Do not do things that
will bring suffering to others or yourself.
5. Right Livelihood:
Abstain from making your living from an occupation that brings harm and suffering
to humans or animals, or diminish their well-being. This includes: activities
that directly harm conscious beings, and activities that indirectly harm sentient
beings, e.g., making weapons or poisons.
6. Right Effort:
Foster good and prevent evil;
Work on yourself—be engaged in appropriate self-improvement. The essence of
right effort is that everything must be done with a sense of proper balance
that fits the situation. Effort should be balanced between trying too hard
and not trying hard enough. For example, strike the balance between excessive
fasting and over-indulgence in food. Trying hard to progress too rapidly
gets poor results, as does not trying hard enough.
7. Right Mindfulness or wakefulness:
Foster right attention.
Avoid whatever clouds our mental awareness (e.g., drugs).
Systematically and intentionally develop awareness.
8. Right Concentration:
Developed by practicing meditation or mental focusing. Proper meditation
must be done continuously while awake and should include work on awareness
of body, emotions, thought, and mind objects.

source: The Buddha
image: Eddie Two Hawks/image collection/Death Valley, California

reprinted from: ETH “Impermanence”/May 10, 2012
dukkha: (Pali; Sanskrit) meaning, suffering

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