The Four Noble Truths


The Four Noble Truths are the cream of the Buddha’s teaching.  If we don’t embrace and look deeply into our suffering, we will drown in an ocean of suffering.

  1. The First Noble Truth is suffering (dukkha).  The root meaning of the Chinese character for suffering is “bitter.”  We all suffer to some extent.  We have some malaise in our body and our mind.
  2. The Second Noble Truth is the origins, roots, nature, creation, or arising (samudaya) of suffering.  After we touch our suffering, we need to look deeply into it to see how it came to be.
  3. The Third Noble Truth is cessation (nirodha) of creating suffering by refraining from doing the things that make us suffer. Healing is possible.
  4. The Forth Noble Truth is the path (marga) that leads to refraining from doing things that cause us to suffer.  The Buddha called it the Noble Eightfold Path.

From The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh