When the Buddha rose from the Bodhi tree he arose awakened. He discovered the Four Noble Truths of existence, which are:
1. The Truth of Suffering
The Buddha declared that this world if full of suffering; that actual existence including birth, decrepitude, sickness and death is suffering and sorrow. This is called the Truth of Suffering.
2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering.
The cause of human suffering lies in ignorance and Karma. Ignorance and its resulting Karma have often times been called “desire” or craving. The Buddha declared:
Verily it is this thirst or craving, causing the renewal of existence, accompanied by sensual delight, seeking satisfaction now here, now there – the craving for gratification of the passions, for continual existence in the worlds of sense.
3. The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering.
The extinguishing of all human ignorance and Karma results in a state known as Nirvana. This is the Truth of the Cessation of Suffering.
4. The Truth of the Path to the Cessation of Suffering
The Truth of the Path to the Cessation of Suffering is the Noble Eight-fold Path.
Some have said that Buddhism is rather negative since the FIrst Noble Truth is that Life is Suffering. I would whole heartedly disagree. During our next Dharma gathering we will discuss as a group we will discuss our engement with this truths and how they inform our daily practice.