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What The Buddha Taught
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What The Buddha Taught

"The Buddha" which means, the awakened one, is the title given to Siddhartha Gautama, a prince who lived in northern India over 2600 years ago.  Siddhartha lived a privileged life free from the toils of the common man, sheltered from witnessing the suffering that encompass all living beings - birth, old age, sickness and death - that when his first encounter with the gruesome truth and seeing with his own eyes for the first time, at the age of 29, an old man, sick man, a corpse and an ascetic, decided to leave the extravagant comfort of his palace in search for the end of human suffering.

 For 6 years, Siddhartha lived the life of an ascetic practicing extreme self-denial and self-mortification techniques to no avail. Until at the age of 35, when he decided to cease the extreme practices and decided to quiet his mind through mindfulness of breathing under the Bodhi tree, he discovered the laws of Dependent Arising, or Dependent Origination (Pattica Samupadda).

 It is through ignorance, the first link or cause of the wheel of karma to continue, and clouds right understanding. The Law of Dependent Origination describes the cyclic process in which we are continuously entangled and continue to repeat the process until we finally reach our death, continuously suffering from our ignorant actions, thus describes the Buddha's Four Noble Truths:
1) Life is suffering
2) Suffering is born of mental attachment
3) There is a way to end suffering
4) The way to end suffering is through the 8-fold path.

The 8-fold path describes a way in which we can achieve liberation from suffering:
1) Right View; Right Understanding
2) Right Intention; Right Thought
3) Right Speech
4) Right Action
5) Right Livelihood
6) Right Effort
7) Right Mindfulness
8) Right Concentration

Right View, Right Intention = Wisdom
Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood = Ethical Conduct
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration = Meditation


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