Written by Raven Cain on July 4, 2022

Four Noble truths

By Rev. Raven Cain

Raven "Musashi Utaka" Cain
Rev. Raven Cain

In our first lesson, I will begin by explaining the four noble truths and would like to take the time to break them down.

Dharma Wheel1. The Truth of Suffering

2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering

3. The Truth of the End of Suffering

4. The Truth of the Path leading to the End of Suffering
"There is a path leading to the complete deliverance from suffering." -Buddha

1. The truth of Suffering.

The fact is life at times can be HARD! This is difficult for many people to accept and causes many to seek the mythical easy way out. Just like the unicorn, this "easy way out" is nothing but a fairytale. I always say to my students that those who take the mythical "easy way out" simply detour themselves onto the path of the very real and exceptionally difficult. Suffering in itself is the feeling of extreme discomfort caused by the inability and in some cases the unwillingness to accept things as they are. Miyamoto Musashi wrote in his book the DoKoDo that "one must accept things just as they are".

2. The Truth of the Cause of Suffering.

As human beings in the modern age, our focus tends to lean towards comfort more than survival, especially in America. In reality, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is quite normal. We go wrong when we do not accept hard things when they come into our lives. Many people collapse under moderate pressure and avoid at all costs the slightest discomfort. If one can root out the illusion of the easy and perfect life of comfort, what a traditional Buddhist may call desire then they can eliminate suffering in their life. You may question this by asking "should I be devoid of fun, goals, and striving for my best life?" Not at all. In my view, having fun in life, setting goals, and becoming the best version of yourself versus unrealistic desire is not the same. Expecting nothing but smooth waters is not reality and being attached to the idea of living a perfect flawless life devoid of trials and tribulations creates great suffering. We must let go of all forms of suffering and delusions. Many of us carry the heavy burden of the past and get caught up in reflecting and remembering negative events. We beat ourselves up over past mistakes and many people have a bad case of the should have. Should have done this should have done that. I find that most human beings take themselves way too seriously and this causes a great deal of suffering.

3. The Truth of the End of Suffering

Keeping ourselves chained to the past or glued to an idea of the ideal is a quick way to sink the ship of happiness. The good news is there is a way to End Suffering and live a happy, fulfilling life, even an ambitious life with total acceptance of the ebb and flow that is a part of the real world. No, you do not have to be a monk or meditate on top of the Himalayan mountains or sit under the bodhi tree to achieve this.

4. The Truth of the Path leading to the End of Suffering

In order to truly live a life of minimal to no suffering, one must follow a certain path. The Buddha gave us much like a doctor would a prescription to facilitate the cure. This cure is called the Eight Fold Path. The Eight-Fold Path teaches us how to live the proper life. Much like the 10 commandments, these truths if followed will lead a person into an upright life. It leads to acceptance and out of the hell of suffering. The Buddha gave the world this Eigh-Fold Path as a series of steps, or maybe you may look at them as a series of daily spiritual practices, that when followed can indeed release us from suffering, and attachments, leading us to our great happiness. The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eight-Fold Path are the very roots of the Golden Dragon Temple's Pre-sectarian Buddhism. It should be noted that the path to enlightenment is an endless possess. You must practice diligently with discipline and eventually, you will become the path. The great awakening is not something that is not in the distant past or in the far beyond the future but rather a way of living now. Right here and right now.

"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path." - The Buddha

Article written by Raven Cain
has spent a lifetime learning martial arts. He has been developing his skills, strategies, and tactics for 40-plus years. He owned several martial arts schools in his hometown of Virginia Beach and later in Richmond Virginia, and is now proud to bring his art to Southern Utah. In his early years, he was a Bar Bouncer and Guardian Angel in hopes to test himself and his skill set.

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