Thursday, August 3, 2017


Suffering is Optional

The Four Noble Truths are the very basis of Buddha's teachings. The first teaching ever given by the Buddha was to five student monks under the Bodhi Tree in a deer park. During these teachings, Buddha spoke of four truths he had come to understand during his own search for enlightenment. 

Although I am not a true Buddhist, many of the Buddha's teachings resonate with me. My own personal journeys from darkness to the light have opened my eyes - indeed my heart - to the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.

Pain and suffering are a part of life. They are... and no amount of positive thinking will keep them at bay forever. As humans, we form attachments, we have desires, and we make judgments, and we feel emotions throughout the entire spectrum. With acceptance of being human, and living in a physical world, we must accept that suffering is a part of our path. In fact, if we don't acknowledge or accept it, our resistance will simply create more suffering.

However, the Four Noble Truths also tell us that suffering can be eased, suffering can be temporary, and the cessation of suffering can lead us to a purified experience.

The Four Noble Truths 

The Four Noble Truths can get very detailed with lots of esoteric names for various states of things. As much as I enjoy reading about Buddhism and following the Bodhisattva path to enlightenment, I prefer to break things down into a practical, everyday jargon that is sometimes easier to understand.

I do this to honor the Buddha and his teachings. I do this to provide light to any who are in need. As always, I highly encourage everyone to search for your own meaning.

To me, and to an understanding that works for me, the Four Noble Truths are as follows:

1. There will be Suffering

Life always involves suffering, in obvious and subtle forms. Even when things seem good, we always feel an undercurrent of anxiety and uncertainty inside. We do not find lasting happiness or satisfaction in anything we experience. This is the nature of our earthly physical existence.

2. The Cause of Suffering

The cause of suffering is desire and attachment to the idea of what our desires represent. We suffer because of our mistaken belief that we are a separate, independent, solid “I.” We believe that we are separate from that desire. The painful struggle to maintain this delusion causes an attachment to an idea that things are permanent. When proven otherwise, suffering occurs. 

3. The End of Suffering

The good news is that all experiences are temporary. They are like passing clouds that obscure the sun of our enlightened nature, which is always present. Therefore, suffering can end because it too is temporary. Our Ego can be purified - rather than satisfied - and a more enlightened mind becomes available to us. We can end our suffering through practicing non-attachment... or at least choosing our attachments with enlightened wisdom. 

4. The Path

By living ethically, practicing mindfulness, and developing wisdom, we can take our lives in a direction that minimizes the suffering we allow. No matter what a person's life path happens to be - when traveled ethically, mindfully, and observed from a higher perspective - we are more able to recognize obstacles and distractions that can bring suffering. We can better discern whether our desires will bring us pain or pleasure. And we can choose to enjoy life without attachment to the idea of permanence. One of the many ways through the Eight-fold Path, as discovered by the Buddha during his search for enlightenment.

There are literally millions of ways for one to follow one's path... and like all wise teachers, the Buddha suggested that each of us search and find our own truth to follow and live by. I encourage you to do the same.

If you're interested in learning Mindful Awareness Practices to help relieve the suffering of anxiety, stress, fear, or anything else that might be an obstacle on your path, Contact me. Let's talk about how Mindfulness can serve to heal you.

Stay Zen!

Joe Vulgamore CHT is is a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, and Holistic Healer. He is author of the Best-selling book "Alignment- Law of Attraction and the Seven Universal Laws" and "Powerful Powerful You - Understanding Your Power". For almost 30 years, Joe has helped thousands of people from over 14 countries, across 5 continents, to make life-transformations through one-to-one coaching, books, and workshops.

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