Saturday (Dec. 8) was Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holy day celebrating the enlightenment of Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, whose teachings form the foundation of Buddhist philosophy. During his awakening, the Buddha: 1) came to the realization that he had been born and reborn many times, 2) uncovered the Law of Karma and recognized the importance of the Noble Eightfold Path, and 3) discovered the Four Noble Truths, before ultimately reaching Nirvana.
Karma is whatever you do, say or think and these actions bring about consequences either in this lifetime or in subsequent lifetimes. The Noble Eightfold Path is the way to the cessation of dukkha or suffering. It consists of the following elements: 1) right view, 2) right intention, 3) right speech, 4) right action, 5) right livelihood, 6) right effort, 7) right mindfulness, and 8) right concentration. These eight elements are divided into three categories: wisdom, ethical conduct, and concentration. The Four Noble Truths, proposed in the Buddha’s writing, Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dharma, can be translated as follows:
- “This is the noble truth of dukkha: birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, illness is dukkha, death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha; union with what is displeasing is dukkha; separation from what is pleasing is dukkha; not to get what one wants is dukkha; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are dukkha.”
- “This is the noble truth of the origin of dukkha: it is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there, that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.”
- “This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, nonreliance on it.”
- “This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha: it is the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.”
The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path empower me with further tools to assist me on my spiritual journey and help me to be the woman I want to be at all times. I know that it will be beneficial to read these tenets from time to time and meditate on their resonance within my core and with my higher self. I’m seriously enjoying this journey!
Eye-and-Eye mantra: Be the woman you want to be at all times.
Photography by Ajua Hawkins.
Copyright 2012-2014 Ajua Hawkins