The Four Noble Truths & the Eightfold Path of Buddhism – Meditation & Mindfulness Are Not Enough to Live A Carefree Life

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I am homesick for a place I am not sure even exists–One where my heart is full, my body loved, and my soul understood. – Anonymous

I have written about the fact that I often find myself yearning  for something that I cannot quite describe. At times, the yearning has become pervasive, and I have slipped into episodes of depression. For me, full-blown depression has not lasted my entire life, but even when I have managed to pull myself out of depression, that sense of wanting has managed to remain.

Some people describe the yearning as a hole in the heart. As I have said, I have written about this angst several times before Here, but before this week, I had no idea that what I was saying had anything to do with Buddhism. I have learned that Buddhism, like Psychology, addresses a general malaise and that in this way, it is not always concerned with the worship of one deity or another. Robin Wright of Princeton University explains this in the first of his videos Here or on YouTube. I am beginning to learn that the westernized form of Buddhism has more to do with learning to live an enlightened life than it has to do with religion.

As I have explained before, religiously speaking, I am a Christian, but I am interested in learning more about the Buddhist tenets of mindfulness and meditation as ways to channel my mind and to live a more abundant and carefree life. Here

In a previous post, I discussed the first two of the Buddhist Four Noble Truths. Here 

  1. People suffer or long for something that they do not have.
  2. When they get those things or achieve those things, their satisfaction with them lasts a very short period and they begin to cling, which causes more problems.

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I said that I have begun auditing a Free Online Course from Princeton and that Robin Wright explains Buddhism in a simple and easily digestible way in that course.  You can register for this course from Princeton Here

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In his second set of lectures, Wright  discusses the second two Noble Truths, and the last one is the Eightfold Path.

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Image Credit Robin Wright, Princeton Free Course: Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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Image Credit Robin Wright, Princeton Free Course: Buddhism and Modern Psychology

I strongly urge anyone who desires to know more about Buddhism and the ways that Buddhism can relieve stress to listen to Wright’s videos. In the following, I’ll merely outline the topic headings in the first of the second set of videos:

Meditation Is Not Enough

Wright explains that Meditation is only 1 of the 8 essential parts of the path to relieve suffering and that Buddhists also teach that people also need to live a more ethical and moral life. This is how a person achieves Virtue.

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Right Speech entails truthfulness and it also forbids one’s saying mean and unkind things about others. It forbids people from gossiping.

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Right View demands that we study the Buddhist doctrine ; meditation is a way that we begin to change our patterns of behavior toward living according to the Buddhist doctrine.

Carefree

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