Buddhist teachings of Suffering

Essay by bigmark77College, UndergraduateA-, December 2006

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The Buddhist teachings are centered on the idea of suffering or Dukkha. They believe that all of life's choirs and work is suffering. Birth, death, despair, wanting, earthly needs, desire, unpleasant things, and in essence human life are all forms of suffering (Richter, 186). If one assumes that our suffering or Dukkha is a basic fact of existence then the logical solution is to address the situation and strive to end our suffering. One could begin to solve this problem by relating the Four Noble Truths to how a doctor cures a patient's ailment. You would follow four steps: identify the symptoms, identify the cause, identify the course of the disease and provide a cure or prescription. This medical analogy has been used in various websites and Buddhist web pages (Wikipedia.org). Here we follow the Four Truths. The symptom is suffering in life. This is caused by our human desires.

These desires encompass all worldly wants and needs and they are far reaching and never ending. This "disease" of suffering can not be cured without the cessation of desire. The prescription or cure is the Eightfold Path. By following the Eightfold Path on would "present a cure for suffering - a permanent end to suffering which would destroy suffering from its very root" (Nanamoli 387). The Eightfold Path is step by step instructional guide on a way to live life (which is suffering anyway) in such a way to transcend desire and dukka. These paths are grouped in three subgroups of Wisdom, Ethical Conduct, and Mental Discipline; wherein there are detailed instructions within these subgroups that would take considerable explanation. The end result of this process of the Eightfold path is Enlightenment and the true knowledge of the essence of the Universe. This is the Ultimate Reality for the Buddhist...