The Cessation of Suffering and the Path to Enlightenment



1.     Four Noble Truths

(The Disease)

a.     Life is dominated by suffering: Separation from the things you love; not getting what it is you want. Unavoidable experience of things you despise: sickness, old age, death.

b.     The cause of suffering is desire and craving

                                      i.     The cycle of rebirth, suffering, death, perpetuated by desire.  Clinging to the impermanent.

(The Remedy)

c.     Release from suffering is possible.  Stop clinging. Craving for sensual experience, for better rebirth, even for extinction, can be renounced.  Blowing out the flame of a candle.

d.     The way out of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path.

WISDOM: The right understanding of existence and the intention to act in accord with this understanding. Dhamma and its focus on healing of suffering

1.     Right understanding, right intension, 


2.     Right Speech (truth), right action (respecting the well-being of others), right livelihood (promoting peace and happiness of all living beings)

CONTEMPLATION: The discipline of consciousness that leads to self awareness and insight

3.     Right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. 

e.     These lead to release from samsara

2.     Nirvana: a "blowing out."  An ineffable, transcendental state, ultimate.

a.     involves no union with God.

b.     Escapes ordinary language

c.     Two features of a definition:

                                      i.     Cessation of rebirth

                                    ii.     Mindfulness (as in state of enlightenment)