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July 06, 2011


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Maybe I shouldn't admit this, but when I first read the First Noble Truth, it was mostly news to me! *^^*


I used to walk around wailing, "I'm suffering! I'm suffering!" When I learn the First of the Four Noble Truths, I was shocked. "Life" is suffering?" Wow. You mean this isn't about me?!

(As I typed "Life is suffering," I had a flash-thought. "Life" - as in all that is around and in us - is suffering. Brings up a sense of responsibility to take care of all that is around and in us, doesn't it.


It's like a confirmation of what we already know deep inside, I think. Someone says it out loud, it clarifies it and if we want to get on with the work, the pieces of the puzzle have been laid out before us. That'll be two cents, please.

Ben Howard

Barry -

As I understand the First Noble Truth, it is telling us not that "life is suffering" but that "suffering exists." That recognition provides a basis for the three subsequent truths, which address the origin, the cessation, and the way to the cessation of conditioned suffering.

I would agree that the conditioned suffering in our lives may not be obvious, especially if we are in denial. Doctors call certain injuries "unrecognized traumas." That term might describe dukkha as well. Calling attention to unrecognized suffering allows us to examine the conditions that have caused or are causing it.

Willie R.

Realization of the First Noble Truth should incur the further realization that, as long as you are alive, there will be suffering - no matter what you do.

Once that really settles in, the perfect equivalence of Samsara and Nirvana becomes obvious.


"Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and around us, everywhere, any time".

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

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