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The Buddha, Two Lessons

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Almost everybody I have ever met can recognize a Buddha statue, but few folks who I have ever associated with understand the meaning of the Buddha. Myself included was one of those folks blessed with such ignorance. When the term Buddha was brought up, all I thought about was the pudgy bellies of myself and fellow offensive lineman on my high school football team. Nirvana! Hey isn't that one of the great rock bands of the early nineties? Right? In this paper, I will explain who the Buddha was and the deep meaning of the message that Prince Guatama preached.

The Buddha defined the Middle Path as a way that leads to insight, which leads to wisdom, which conduces to calm, to knowledge, to the Sambodhi, to Nirvana (76). These words meant that all else was linked to some sort of suffering, that true peace and happiness could only be achieved through your mind and true pain and suffering could be achieved through reality. The Buddha illustrated this idea through his Four Noble Truths.

The first of these is the Noble Truth of Suffering. These sufferings included natural situations of life, including birth, decay, death, presence of objects we hate not to obtain what we want, and finally, mere existence (76). There is a pattern that is developed in this order. Birth is the beginning of reality that has its good as well as bad times. The Buddha appears to focus on the hardships of reality that Prince Guatama knew of in this world. As life would carry onward, the hardships would pile on top of one another, eventually leading to a life of misery.

The second of these four truths is the Cause of suffering. The idea illustrated here is the thirst that consumes everybody. The thirst for pleasure, existence, and prosperity was the threefold that he explained (76). Pleasure being a cause for the fact that it leads to lust, which leads back to birth. Existence, like the last paragraph, is mere suffering. Prosperity, trying to achieve what we desire, stepping on other people to get what we want, is a cause of suffering. Releasing yourself from these causes, from all worldly desires, is what Prince Guatama could define as true peace and happiness.

The Third is the Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering. This requires a complete end of every passion leading to the destruction of desire (76-77). This idea is simple, eliminate



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