VIDEO: The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

In her interview with PsychAlive Senior Editor Lisa Firestone, Dr. Donna Rockwell talks about the four noble truths of Buddhism.

The four noble truths.  Well, that’s sort of the underpinning of all Buddhism and it’s the notion that, the first noble truth is that life is suffering, meaning they’re updating it, they’re saying life is stressful.  The suffering of yesterday is the stressfulness of today.  So that life is stressful.  Well, yes.  We know that life is stressful.

And the second noble truth is that there’s impermanence.  That things don’t go on forever.  The third noble truth is that there’s a way out.  So there’s some hope.  And the fourth noble truth describes the way out, which they call the eight fold path.  And that includes things such as right livelihood.  So, in other words, if we’re bounty hunters or mercenaries or something, shooting people, they wouldn’t consider that right livelihood.  Even being a butcher, they sort of, maybe that’s an antiquated idea. But just the idea that we have to do things with our lives that make us feel good about ourselves.

Right view, another of the eight fold path, very important because right view is everything we’ve been talking about so far.  Right view means that I understand the nature of mind.  I k now it’s a busy monkey.  It’s jumping all over the place.  I know I’m either lost in the past or the future and I’m not in the present moment.  So let me cultivate the capacity to return to the present moment.  That’s having right view.  So we’re not thinking, “Oh, when I get a house, when I get married and I have kids and I retire, and you know, that’s not right view.  That’s not how to achieve this, this happiness that meditation can teach us.

About the Author

Donna Rockwell, Psy.D. Dr. Donna Rockwell, Psy.D., L.P. is a licensed clinical psychologist, adjunct faculty member, community outreach worker, columnist, and mindfulness meditation teacher. Dr. Rockwell specializes in both mindfulness and celebrity mental health. She works with clients in her private practice and teaches public meditation classes. You can watch Dr. Rockwell on YouTube or read more of her blogs at The New Existentialists.

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