Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Monday, August 30, 2010

Four Noble Truths

Approaching Buddhism oone needs to understand The Four Noble Truths. From Wikipedia:

According to the Pali Tipitaka, the Four Noble Truths were the first teaching of Gautama Buddha after
attaining Nirvana. They are sometimes considered as containing the essence of the Buddha’s teachings and
are presented in the manner of a medical diagnosis and remedial prescription – a style common at that

Life as we know it ultimately is or leads to suffering (dukkha) in one way or another.

Suffering is caused by craving or attachments to worldly pleasures of all kinds. This is often expressed
as a deluded clinging to a certain sense of existence, to selfhood, or to the things or people that we
consider the cause of happiness or unhappiness.

Suffering ends when craving ends, when one is freed from desire. This is achieved by eliminating all
delusion, thereby reaching a liberated state of Enlightenment (bodhi);

Reaching this liberated state is achieved by following the path laid out by the Buddha.

This interpretation is followed closely by many modern Theravadins,[citation needed] described by early
Western scholars, and taught as an introduction to Buddhism by some contemporary Mahayana teachers (e.g.. the Dalai Lama).

According to other interpretations by Buddhist teachers and scholars and lately recognized by some
Western scholars the “truths” do not represent mere statements, but divisions or aspects of most
phenomena, which fall into one of these four categories, grouped in two:

Suffering and causes of suffering

Cessation and the paths towards liberation from suffering.

Thus, according to the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Buddhism they are:

“the noble truth that is suffering”

“the noble truth that is the arising of suffering”

“the noble truth that is the end of suffering”

“the noble truth that is the way leading to the end of suffering”

The early teaching, and the traditional understanding in the Theravada, is that the four noble truths are
an advanced teaching for those who are ready for them. The Mahayana position is that they are a
preliminary teaching for people not yet ready for the higher and more expansive Mahayana teachings. They
are little known in the Far East.

The keyword here is Suffering. In Buddhism suffering is not what we, western educated and minded
individuals have embedded in us, it is the Buddhism interpretations of Suffering, and the end of

Suffering is not associated with the end of the (external) cause of suffering, but within ourselves, the
end of our subjective sentient suffering, that is the outcome of Buddhism Practice (enphasis on

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