Buddha’s Teachings for Mindful Living

The 4 Noble Truths of Buddha- The Core of Mindful Living

The Buddha began his teaching with four foundation principles. These are of such importance that they have come down to us as the Four Noble Truths.

Nidhi Thakur


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What is it about — The Four Noble Truths?

Dukkha, Atman, Reincarnation, Karma; formed the conceptual framework in the Buddha’s world, the framework within which he formulated his doctrine. They are the roots of Buddhism.

Virtually everything that follows in the succeeding years — the Buddha’s sermons, books written through the centuries, commentaries on earlier writings — can be regarded as flowering from these Four Noble Truths.

Here are the Four Nobel Truths:

1. The Truth of Dukkha (Suffering): We are vulnerable to many suffering experiences such as hunger, pain, fear, loneliness, hatred, and so on.

2. The Truth of Tanha (Craving): We are vulnerable because of how human nature is programmed. Specifically, we are a bundle of emotional urges and material cravings that push and pull from within. Urges, for example, to obtain food, drink, sexuality, companionship; to escape pain, boredom, irritation.

3. The Truth of Nirvana (Liberation from Dukkha): Our vulnerability can be ended. We can only attain freedom from our Dukkha (Pain). We do this by changing our mindset, by transforming our material cravings. We can subdue these overpowering urges that push us now one way, now another.

4. The Truth of Magga (The Eight-Fold Path): Liberation from Dukkha is attained by the practice of eight disciplines. These disciplines entail the cultivation of the following:

1. Right Understanding

2. Right Thoughts

3. Right Speech

4. Right Action

5. Right Livelihood

6. Right Mindfulness

7. Right Effort

8. Right Meditation

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These, then, are the four axioms of the system. Nirvana is attained not by communing with the Atman but by “calm-ing the lake,” eliminating the turmoil of the pushes and pulls that overwhelm us.

The Buddha rejected the concept of Atman (soul). He called his doctrine one of Anatman (without Atman). This earned Buddhism the epithet “The Atheistic Religion.”

Nothing else, nothing like an everlasting “Soul” or Atman. The Buddha advises his disciples to investigate themselves for a deeper self-introspection and check themselves, is there anything beyond the physiological process.

His justification is that he finds only psychological properties in a thorough analysis of himself — sensations, feelings, and urges.

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