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Follow-up: Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path

posted Mar 18, 2011, 7:09 AM by Phil Spitze

Just a quick follow-up on last week’s lesson.  The Four Noble Truths and the resulting Noble Eightfold Path truly are the road map to inner peace, and for the Buddha, the attainment of Nibbana (Nirvana.) One of the things I admire about Buddhism is that there are no absolutes that you are expected to simply accept on blind faith.  Throughout his teachings, the Buddha invited students and followers to test his lessons before accepting them.  Unlike the Christian teachings I experienced as a child, Buddhism offers a level of transparency that, for me, is welcome and gives the lessons more validity.  Anyone can ask us to believe something just because they state it is fact or truth, but that can lead down a path of peril if one is not careful and even suspicious of the teacher and the lesson.

The basis of the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path is one of observation and understanding.  Observation of the world around us, of the misgivings of the human mind, and the source of suffering.  By going further and understanding the causes and subsequent effects of the world, the mind, and of suffering, one can learn to control and dispatch those conditions that lead to an unhappy life.  A common saying has often stated that “true happiness comes from within”… clearly this was coined by a Buddhist.