What is the philosophy of Buddhism?

In brief, the Buddha taught that our lives are filled with "dukkha" (sometimes expressed as "suffering," but inaccurately) that springs from being ultimately unable to attain the things we long for. Life happens, illness and death happen, deprivations happen, we often do not get our way, and things do not happen to our satisfaction. Our realization of these things, consciously or unconsciously, is the cause of dukkha.

Buddhism provides the thought tools to move beyond the narrow way of life defined -- essentially -- by things we cannot attain. It teaches us to think clearly rather than allowing our head monsters to drag us around by our thoughts. Once we realize the reality of life as dukkha, we are able to move beyond these limiting ways of thinking and live serene lives.

This is the first thing that the Buddha taught upon attaining enlightenment and is the basic philosophy of Buddhism. It is known as the four noble truths.

1. Life is suffering

2. Attachment is the cause of suffering

3. Suffering can be eliminated

4. The eightfold path is the way to end suffering For more information see the Four Noble Truths on the left for a very in-depth exploration of this teaching. Click on the link to your left for the answer.

Do your best to be kind and considerate of all living things

The Four Noble Truths

1. The Reality of Suffering--dukkha

Suffering exists in the world and in people's lives.

2. The Cause of Suffering --samudaya

The principle cause of suffering is the attachment to "desire" or "craving", tanha. Both desire to have (wanting) and desire not to have (aversion).

 desire for sense-pleasures--kama-tanha,

 desire to become--bhava-tanha,

 desire to get rid of--vibhava-tanha.

3. Suffering can end, Nirvana is peace --nirodha

The end of suffering is non-attachment, or letting go of desire or craving. This is the state of Nibbana (Nirvana), where greed, hatred, and delusion are extinct.

4. The Path to the Cessation of Suffering--magga

The Eight-Fold Path:

Widsom--Panna

 Right Understanding/Knowledge--samma ditthi

 Right Thought/Thinking--samma sankappa

Morality--Sila

 Right Speech--samma vaca

 Right Action/Conduct--samma kammanta

 Right Livelihood--samma ajiva

Concentration--Samadhi

 Right Effort--samma vayama

 Right Mindfulness--samma sati

 Right Concentration--samma samadhi

~ Eric Putkonen Buddha help his people in many ways, but the most important is people must help themselves In Buddhist scripture (Digha-Nikaya, iii. 3), we learn that the purpose of the Buddha teaching Dhamma (the law or principle) is to lead whoever practices it to the total dissolution of suffering. The dissolution of suffering, it needs to be kept in mind, is not some blanked out state. It is supreme bliss and immortality. One of the main goals of Buddhism is to see the world for what it is, and to achieve Nirvana.