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The First Noble Truth

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mtf80123 Donating Member (488 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-09-09 02:37 AM
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The First Noble Truth
After his experiences as a prince and as a wandering monk, the Buddha had learnt that all people have one thing in common: if they think about their own life, or look at the world around them, they will see that life is full of suffering.

Suffering, he said, may be physical or mental. The Buddha's most important teachings were focused on a way to end the suffering he had experienced and had seen in other people. His discovery of the solution began with the recognition that life is suffering. This is the first of the Four Noble Truths.

Physical suffering takes many forms. All of us have seen at some time an elderly person with aches and pains in their joints, maybe finding it hard to move by themselves or worried about falling over on their sore bones and delicate skin. As we get older all of us find that life can become more difficult for all kinds of reasons; our eyes may not see as well, our hears may not hear as well or our teeth may not be as strong making it harder for us to eat. The pain of disease, which strikes young and old alike, is a reality for us all from time to time, and the pain of death brings much grief and suffering. Even the moment of birth gives pain both to the mother and the child that is born.

The First Noble Truth is that the suffering of birth, old age, sickness and death is unavoidable. Some fortunate people may now be enjoying relatively happy and carefree lives, but it is only a matter of time before they, too, will experience suffering of some kind. What is also true is that this suffering whether it is a cold, an injury or a sad event must be borne alone. When you have a cold, it is your cold and only you experience how it feels for you. In another example, a man may be very concerned that his mother is growing old. No matter how much he cares for her he cannot take her place and suffer the pains of aging on her behalf. In the same way, if a boy falls very ill, his mother cannot experience the pains of his illness for him. The Buddha taught people to recognise that suffering is part of life and that it cannot be avoided.
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