Four Noble Truths
Many lessons have come down,
this one seems so true:
All sentient beings seek to avoid suffering,
and seek a peace that is permanent.
First we must see
the fact of birth;
the fact of aging;
the fact of illness;
the fact of the inevitability of death.
The first noble truth recognizes these facts
and realizes that there is suffering.
All things have their cause.
The second noble truth recognizes that
suffering, like all that exists, has a cause.
The body is fleeting;
Feelings are fleeting;
Perceptions and memories are fleeting;
Ideas are fleeting;
Even awareness, itself, is fleeting.
Believing that these are less than fleeting is the cause of our suffering;
Desire to find fulfillment through these, engenders this suffering
The third noble truth recognizes that the cause of suffering is
the false identification and craving for that which is impermanent.
The fourth noble truth recognizes that the there is a way to end suffering.
The end of suffering requires putting an end to the cause of suffering.
Freedom from suffering comes from successfully seeing our false identification with the permanent.
This requires higher training in ethics, concentration, compassion and wisdom.
Proper ethical conduct helps us to see the impermanence of our actions,
and allows us to work out our karma to begin the higher trainings.
Compassion helps us to see the impermanence of feeling,
and to witness clearly, suffering.
Wisdom helps us to see the impermanence of our thought,
and to correct the ignorance of mistaking the impermanent for the permanent.
Concentration helps us to sustain the application of the higher trainings.
Signposts of freedom from suffering are the eightfold path:
Freedom from suffering tunes us with a Peace that is permanent