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The reality of life and the fear that everyone suffers from time to time was brilliantly described by the Buddha. Buddhism is not a religion; it is a philosophy. The Buddha himself was an atheist. That doesn’t mean, however. that the understanding of Buddhism will not gel perfectly with your religion. Read on and you will see why I say this.

The Four Noble Truths Are:

The truth of dukkha (suffering, anxiety, unsatisfactoriness)
The truth of the origin of dukkha
The truth of the cessation of dukkha
The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha

And we all fear suffering.

1. The First Noble Truth is to accept that everyone suffers. Mainly, old age, sickness, death, and poverty, plus the others as set out below. There is suffering, it should be understood, and it has been understood.

2. The Second Noble Truth is the origin of suffering, which is attachment, and that desire should be “let go.” That doesn’t mean we should have desire, or want to succeed; it means we can want without needing. Here a description of the kinds of suffering which people wish to avoid:

2.1 Craving for sense-pleasures: this is craving for sense objects which provide pleasant feeling, or craving for sensory pleasures.
2.2 Craving to be: this is craving to be something, to unite with an experience. This includes craving to be solid and ongoing, to be a being that has a past and a future, and craving to prevail and dominate over others.
2.3 Craving not to be: this is craving to not experience the world, and to be nothing; a wish to be separated from painful feelings.
2.4 Ignorance: misunderstanding of the nature of reality; bewilderment.
2.5 Attachment: attachment to pleasurable experiences.
2.6 Aversion: a fear of getting what we don’t want, or not getting what we do want.

Can you see the link to fear in all of these?

3. The Third Noble Truth: Cessation is the goal of one’s spiritual practice in the Buddhist tradition. According to the Buddhist point of view, once we have developed a genuine understanding of the causes of suffering, such as craving and ignorance, then we can completely eradicate these causes and thus be free from suffering.

4. The Eightfold Path is the path to the cessation of suffering, and it should therefore be cultivated. It consists of Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

Your chosen religion and/or philosophy can help you to overcome fear by dealing with this reality. Attachment – a feeling that we will lose what we have or not get what we want, or what we feel entitled to, or what we feel we need, for example, is one of the biggest causes of fear. The fear of the opinions of other people is one of the greatest fears to beset mankind (attachment to acceptance), as well as the fear of loss, and both of these can be dealt with effectively.

I’m not promoting any religion, or, in effect, Buddhism, but I did want to mention that when you frame your perception of fear in this way, you can choose a religion and / or philosophy that deals adequately with fear.

I feel very fortunate to have found the religion and philosophy that works very well for me, and I am eternally grateful for that. Every aspect of the Eightfold Path is perfectly satisfied, and it is simply up to me to stay on the path in order to achieve my spiritual, psychological, social, mental, financial, and physical goals.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com

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