4. The Fourth Noble Truth: The path to the cessation of suffering
Mārga, the last instructions in the four noble truths of Dharma, refers to the way or solution to end our suffering as shown by the Buddha. Known as the Eightfold Path or the Middle Way, it is a set of principles that “avoids both indulgence and severe asceticism, neither of which the Buddha had found helpful in his search for enlightenment,” explains the BBC. The Eightfold Path includes the following steps :
- Right Understanding – Accepting basic Buddhist teachings and gaining insight
- Right Thought – Developing a positive mindset devoid of selfishness, anger or lust
- Right Speech – Using truthful, productive and positive speech
- Right Action – Refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants
- Right Livelihood – Avoiding professions that harm others, such as slaughtery or prostitution
- Right Effort – Building a life with attention, intention, perseverance and patience
- Right Mindfulness – Being aware of the present moment and of self i.e. mindfulness of bodily sensations
- Right Concentration – Developing mindfulness through meditation to achieve meditational states
When we become aware of ourselves and our surroundings, we can become conscious about our habits & illusions that prevent us from obtaining liberation.
Truth is the path to liberation
According to research, Buddha can be considered as a unique psychotherapist. His teachings and principles have helped millions of people across the world over centuries. Buddhism is about coming back to our own life “with a new attitude. By being more calm, more aware, a nicer person morally, someone who has given up envy and greed and hatred and such, who understands that nothing is forever, that grief is the price we willingly pay for love,” the researcher explains. The four noble truths make life acceptable and allow us to overcome our self-limiting beliefs. These noble truths of Dharma can be acknowledged and practiced in various ways, directly or indirectly, which can enable us to experience inner peace and experience better mental, emotional and physical health.