http://www.clear-vision.org/schools/students/ages-12-14/four-noble-truths.aspx

Part of the Enlightenment experience of the Buddha was the direct ‘Knowledge and Vision of Things as they Really Are’; he realised the Truth, or the Dharma.

The Four Noble Truths Buddhism begins by addressing suffering because no-one can deny the existence of pain. Simply put, the Four Noble Truths are:

  1. Dukkha – PAIN – physical suffering, psychological pain and existential dissatisfaction.
  2. Samudaya – The ORIGIN of Pain, which is craving.
  3. Nirodha – The CESSATION of Pain, which is achieved by overcoming craving. The Third Noble Truth asserts that man can achieve Enlightenment through his own efforts.
  4. Magga – The WAY to the Cessation of Pain, which is the following of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Other Buddhists might just say that cancer is one of the many difficult things we may have to face in life, which are hard to explain. What matters is how we respond to it.

One person with cancer may be eaten up with bitterness: “Why me? It’s not fair” etc. This is the kind of suffering which comes with aversion – craving for things to be other than the way they are. This person now has two kinds of suffering. Another person with cancer could choose to see their illness as an opportunity for changing lifestyle, making the most of the time they have left, making sure their friendships are in good repair etc. Because they don’t resist the reality of their situation by craving for things to be different, they suffer less emotional and psychological pain.

Of course, many people with any kind of suffering will experience a mixture of these two attitudes.

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