The Cessation of Suffering and the Path to Enlightenment
Four Noble Truths
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, rebirth...is perpetuated by desire. Clinging to the impermanent.
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 intension to act in accord with this understanding. Dhamma and its focus on healing of suffering
i. Right understanding, right intention,
ii. 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
iii. Right effort, right mindfulness, right
2. Nirvana: a "blowing out." An ineffable, transcendental state, ultimate.
a. involves no union with God.
b. Escapes ordinary language