There are different types of buddhism philosophy out there – Zen, Tibetan and the Theravada tradition. My experience is with the Theravada tradition and practising Vipassana meditation. The more meditation I do, the more blown away I am by what I discover. When I talk about meditation I’m not talking about sitting down, closing my eyes and watching my thoughts go round and round. My meditation has a purpose – an actual beneficial exploration into what makes me sad and literally removing that sadness (not a bad idea right?). I’m going to keep this blog post brief to keep it really simple with the intention that hopefully others will become more interested in the simplicity and powerful practice of Buddhist philosophy. Basically, the four noble truths in Buddhism are:
1. The truth of suffering
The truth of suffering is that often we are suffering without even realising it.
2. The truth of the cause of suffering
What makes us suffer is the desire to either be not experiencing what we are, or the desire to experience something we can’t. In other words – suffering is avoiding pain or desiring pleasure in any given moment.. and moment to moment. Buddha discovered we each individually have our own ‘stock’ of attachment to this desire to have or this desire to avoid. For example a very angry and miserable person has a large ‘stock’ of avoiding pain which needs to be off loaded to become happier. Suffering is basically avoiding the present moment without just accepting it.
3. The truth of the end of suffering
There is a way out! There is literally a way to offload your mind of all sadness, jealousy, misery, anger, hatred.. the whole lot! Someone who has completely let all these things go is an enlightened person. At the base of the mind is nothing but compassion and a very deep peace. An enlightened person rests in this place.
4. The truth of the path leading to the end of suffering
Live morally well and meditate! (essential to do both together). Meditation is a little bit more technical than just sitting down with your eyes closed though. Do a silent ten day Vipassana retreat – www.dhamma.org to fully understand what you need to do.
Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) never wanted big gold statues of himself and I’m sure if he was alive today he would be asking people to meditate for their own happiness – not to worship him! He wanted people to worship themselves and free themselves. He was just a man – but he was someone who deserves our gratitude purely because somehow (and it still baffles me how) he managed to find out exactly what causes us to be miserable and how to remove that misery – ALL OF IT! I won’t go into how that is achieved through meditation because it will make this blog post another 10,000 words long, but if you are keen to find out more – do a ten day Vipassana retreat at the link above. The course costs nothing, however at the end you are welcome to ‘pay it forward’ for another student to sit a course if you wish. Vipassana meditation is for all religions and all sects around the world. It discriminates no-one as everyone deserves the right to be happy – including you!
Be Happy! 🙂