The philosophy of Buddhism can become very complicated — our monkey minds love to dance with complications! But the basic principles are simple:
The Four Noble Truths
- dukkha — Life is challenging.
- cause The cause of suffering is the mind’s struggle in response to challenge.
- cessation The end of suffering — a non-struggling, peaceful mind — is possible.
- the way The program for ending suffering is the Eightfold Path.
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The Eightfold Path
- Wise Understanding: realizing the cause of suffering.
- Wise Intention: motivation to end suffering
- Wise Speech: speaking in a way that cultivates clarity
- Wise Action: behaving in ways that maintain clarity
- Wise Livelihood: supporting oneself in a wholesome way
- Wise Effort: cultivating skillful (peaceful) mind habits
- Wise Concentration: cultivating a steady, focused, ease-filled mind
- Wise Mindfulness: cultivating alert, balanced attention
“Wise” just means “skillful” — things that work. Like, wise effort, concentration, and mindfulness when crossing the street means, look both ways, watch for cars, keep alert for unexpected events.
page revised: 6 August 2018