Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Four Noble Truths

Buddhism teaches that there are four Nobel Truths that dictate the nature of our lives. The first is that frustration comes from an inability to accept that all things are transitory, meaning constantly changing. Nothing in our lives is permanent.

The second Noble Truth is that all our suffering comes from grasping or clinging to life based upon a wrong point of view. By clinging to beliefs and aspects of life that we believe to be permanent we lose sight of the fluidity of life. We confuse our perception of reality for reality. It thus creates a vicious circle where every action creates further action. This is known as the Law of Karma or the never-ending chain of cause and effect.

The third Noble Truth states that we can transcend the laws of cause and effect. To reach this state we must transcend the bondage of Karma and give up the false notion of being separate from the oneness of the universe.

The fourth Noble Truth is the prescription for ending all suffering. It is the eight-fold path of self-development. The first two sections deal with right seeing (perceptions) and right knowing (attitudes). The next four are ways of action such as balance through, nutrition, exercise, meditation or generally living a balanced life without swinging between extremes. The last section is about right awareness and right meditation, which is the direct mystical experience of reality.

Hinduism like Buddhism is a set of spiritual instructions teaching us that the multitudes of things around us are simply manifestations of the same ultimate reality. Ultimate reality is understood as the soul or inner essence of things. When we confused the underlying unity of creation with our perceptions we are under the spell of maya, meaning illusion.    

Maya however does not mean that the world is an illusion, but rather that illusion rests in our point of view. The shapes and structures we see around us are really the concepts of our measuring and categorizing minds.

In the Hindu view like the Buddhist view, all things are fluid and ever changing. Since the illusion is constantly changing, Karma (meaning action) is the active principle behind the force of creation.

Doctor Lynn

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