The Four Noble Truths
1) To live is to desire, and desire can cause pain.
This has to do with the laws of nature and the human condition. As human beings, we
desire things. We desire to acquire and keep "good things" while desiring to avoid and be
rid of "bad things". Unfortunately, all good things must pass. Fortunately, all bad things
pass as well (if we let them). That is, all things are impermanent, temporary, and in transit.
As much as we try, we cannot keep things from changing. Good things leave us and bad
things find us. This is neither good nor bad, but simply the way things are here on earth
and in human lives. We must desire in order to live and we are not to be condemned or
dissuaded from our desirings.
All of us are born, grow, get sick sometimes, or we become impaired. All of us will grow old
and all of us will die.
We may find love and we may lose love. Friends may leave us. They may move, or we may see them less often. Loved ones die. We may gain material wealth and we may lose it. We may find happiness and we may lose happiness.
Our inability to hold to the things we want causes us suffering. The inability to be in control of our lives causes us suffering.
2) Too much attachment to your desires can cause deep suffering.
Although things change, it is our fruitless effort to control that change that causes us to
suffer. We do not live in this world alone and we do not hold all the cards. It is natural to
desire things, but when we believe that things must be a certain way, then we suffer. When
we believe that others should do things our way or see things from our perspective, we
suffer. When we fear death, or job loss, or homelessness, or aloneness, we suffer. When
we become attached to our own ideas, when we become fixed or rigid in our beliefs despite
evidence to the contrary, we fall into illusion and lose touch with reality. We become less
effective in all our endeavors and wonder why.
3) There is a way to heal from your deep suffering.
The way out of suffering is to lose our attachment to how things ought to be and to, instead, accept things as they are. This takes skill and practice, and it is the development of these skills and the practice of them that are at the core of Buddhist Psychology. The way out of suffering is to accept reality as it is - to awaken from the illusion of life as we have
desperately needed it to be - to let go of the idea of our sovereign control.
4) That way is the Eight Fold Path.