The 4 Noble Truths

  1. All life is suffering.
  2. All suffering is caused by desire.
  3. To end suffering, end desire.
  4. To end desire, follow the 8-fold path.

The Truth About Suffering

​People suffer because they resist what is. In the end, all suffering comes from three rules that govern the world created by the mind:

  • Everything changes and eventually passes away
  • Sometimes you don’t get what you want
  • Sometimes you get what you don’t want

The Second Noble Truth

Suffering is caused by desire, clinging or attachment. Wanting something you can’t have, or not wanting something you do have produce the same result: suffering.

You can take action without clinging to the outcome, or resisting how it ultimately turns out. When you resist change, you can experience unpleasant emotions and physical symptoms.

Another more resourceful, approach is to find a way to stop fuming, fussing and suffering and accept that you cannot change the past that created the present.

The Third Noble Truth

Suffering can be ended by giving up desire, or attachment to a particular outcome or process. Let whatever happens be okay.

When you are attached to outcomes, your disposition, happiness and inner peace are dependent on the outcome being a certain way.

When you let whatever happens be okay, you are independent of the outcome and can experience happiness and inner peace, regardless.

The Fourth Noble Truth

To end suffering, end desire. There is a path to end suffering.

Buddhists call the path to end suffering the “Eightfold Path.” The eightfold path is also referred to as the middle way, which leads us away from extremes, and encourages us to seek a simpler approach to life.

The Eightfold Path

  • Right Understanding
  • Right Intent
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration

Strive For Neutral Intensity

The Internal Map of Reality reveals how external information enters the brain and passes through various unconscious filters you’ve created. In reality, it’s how the brain processes the outside event that creates your inner state, and the behavior you express.

If you process it in a way that involves clinging or resistance, then you suffer. Here is the key point: No matter what the situation is, you can process things in a way that avoids suffering.

3 Kinds of Physical Intensity

  • Positive intensity, such as an orgasm
  • Negative intensity, as with physical pain
  • Neutral intensity, watching openly with curiosity

We tend to cling to things that have positive intensity. We cling to pleasure.

We tend to resist negative intensity. We resist displeasure.

Even with positive intensity, we might mourn that the pleasure is over and suffer because we no longer have it. Sometimes we mourn even before the pleasure ends because we know, sooner or later, the pleasure will end.

Strive for neutral intensity. It may not be easy to do. However, in any situation, the degree to which you accept what is, is the degree to which you avoid suffering.

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