The Four Noble Truths
After many years of practicing severe austerities, the Buddha sat under a bodhi tree and made a resolution that he would not move until he discovered the path to enlightenment. The Four Noble Truths were revealed to him and he spent the rest of his life sharing these truths with others.
1. The First Noble Truth: Life is suffering
The Buddha taught that life is suffering. From the moment of birth we are faced with pain, growing old, illness, sorrow, despair, emotional stress, anxiety, disappointment, etc. We try to avoid pain (which is impossible) and we cling to moments of happiness in an attempt to make them last forever (which is also impossible).
2. The Second Noble Truth: The Cause of Suffering
The Buddha taught that the cause of suffering is craving or desire. We crave perfect health, wealth, prestige, a bigger and better house, a higher paying job, the perfect relationship, etc. The cravings are unending and as soon as one is potentially satisfied, we seek something else.
3. The Third Noble Truth: The Cessation of Suffering
The Buddha taught that it is possible to decrease or dissolve craving which is the only way to rid ourselves of suffering.
4. The Fourth Noble Truth:: The Eightfold Path
The Buddha taught that we can rid ourselves of suffering caused by craving by embracing the principles of The Noble Eightfold Path