Buddhism is a philosophy and a way of life, where mindfulness and acceptance of the life the way it is (as a suffering and impermanence) play key roles.
A description of four noble truths and a few others Buddhist concepts, with own comments.
Posted by feillyne on May 16th, 2011
Below the Four Noble Truths are described (from Buddhanet.net):
What is the First Noble Truth?
The first truth is that life is suffering i.e., life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. This is an irrefutable fact that cannot be denied. It is realistic rather than pessimistic because pessimism is expecting things to be bad. lnstead, Buddhism explains how suffering can be avoided and how we can be truly happy.
Life involves all sorts of activities, and both "bad" and "good" things. It involves what it involves.
A total acceptance may be needed, especially in practice - for example, to solve a problem, first, you need to know that there is indeed a problem (instead of ignoring it). Same goes for the entire life, which in Buddhism is viewed as a "problem".
What is the Second Noble Truth?
The second truth is that suffering is caused by craving and aversion. We will suffer if we expect other people to conform to our expectation, if we want others to like us, if we do not get something we want,etc. In other words, getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness. A lifetime of wanting and craving and especially the craving to continue to exist, creates a powerful energy which causes the individual to be born. So craving leads to physical suffering because it causes us to be reborn.
To get somewhere, first you need to stop to want to get somewhere. Training (gaining skills) and doing is more convenient and less painful than wanting. Also, instead of expecting others to do your work, you can do it yourself.
Still, Karma rules apply, so you can request a favour in exchange for a favour.
What is the Third Noble Truth?
The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. If we give up useless craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nirvana.
Here and now. Three words. What else really matters?
What is the Fourth Noble Truth?
The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering.
What is the Noble 8-Fold Path?
In summary, the Noble 8-fold Path is being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focusing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths and by developing compassion for others.
What are the 5 Precepts?
The moral code within Buddhism is the precepts, of which the main five are: not to take the life of anything living, not to take anything not freely given, to abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence, to refrain from untrue speech, and to avoid intoxication, that is, losing mindfulness.
What is Karma?
Karma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Karma underlines the importance of all individuals being responsible for their past and present actions. How can we test the karmic effect of our actions? The answer is summed up by looking at (1) the intention behind the action, (2) effects of the action on oneself, and (3) the effects on others.
Based on / source: Buddhanet.net
To further your insight into Buddhism, you can take a look at the Eightfold path here: