Explanation of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path given by Lord Gautama
Last Sunday, together with my group of decrees, we read the first sermon given by Gautama Buddha, where he presents the foundations of Buddhism. The Great Maitreya recites this sermon every year, at the time of his great outpouring of love for the planet on the full moon of Gemini. And if Lord Maitreya even now recites and reflects on this truth, always putting an adaptation of it for the current moment, I decided to also reflect on it. Gautama's sermon you can find on the internet a translation of the original Pali in your native language. So here I will only summarize my considerations. In this sermon, Gautama introduces in a simple and relatively short text that to reach nirvana, that is, to accomplish our ascension, we need to reflect, absorb, develop and practice the 4 noble truths and the eight eightfold path factors that stem from them. I really enjoyed what I received from Maitreya's inspiration about our beloved Lord Gautama's sermon, and during the week, I have made a little summary here for you.
The APPEARANCE of sorrow or suffering (which must be alleviated)
The CAUSE of sorrow
The END of sorrow (or the escape of it),
and The WAY, which leads to the escape from sorrow.
1. The APPEARANCE of sorrow or suffering (which must be alleviated)
Here Lord Gautama tells us about the illusion of all things that appear to be real in the external world and which so catches our attention. These outward appearances throw us from one side to the other. When we see something good, we are happy. When we see something bad, we suffer too much.
2. The CAUSE of sorrow
What causes our suffering is our attachment to outward appearances. We believe them to be true. We believe they are real. As Saint Germain told us: ”Where we place our attention, that we become!” What causes suffering is our acceptance of these appearances as a reality. We were taught since childhood that the world is imperfect, the human being is imperfect. That we are going to have to fight too hard to earn our lives and conquer our space in the world. Therefore, we learn to empower appearances and we are ruled by them at all times.
3. The END of sorrow (or the escape of it)
We can only escape suffering when we turn our attention away from outward appearances. When we let go of everything, be it the good things or the bad things. This does not mean being alienated from things or not enjoying the good things God gives us. But that means becoming neutral to outward appearances and creating our reality of pure perfection - that perfection that we want to live and experience in our world.
4. The WAY, which leads to the escape from sorrow.
The way is the practice of the eightfold path, generated from the four noble truths. Gautama told us “It is this noble eightfold path; that is, right view (or right understanding), right intention (or right thoughts), right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.” This is that middle way which gives rise to vision, which gives rise to knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nirvana.
Each item on this eightfold path is an important factor worthy of daily reflection. When we practice one of these factors perfectly, generally the practice of the other 7 happens accordingly. It has a quote from a monk very enlightening about these 8 factors:
“The first factor (of the Eightfold Path) is Right Understanding, the keynote of Buddhism. The Buddha started with Right Understanding in order to clear the doubts of the monks and guide them on the right way. Right Understanding deals with the knowledge of oneself as one really is; it leads to Right Thoughts of non-attachment or renunciation, loving-kindness, and harmlessness, which are opposed to selfishness, illwill, and cruelty respectively. Right Thoughts result in Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood, which three factors perfect one's morality. The sixth factor is Right Effort which deals with the elimination of evil states (My personal note: human creation) and the development of good states in oneself. This self-purification is best done by a careful introspection, for which Right Mindfulness, the seventh factor, is essential. Effort, combined with Mindfulness, produces Right Concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, the eighth factor. A one-pointed mind resembles a polished mirror where everything is clearly reflected with no distortion.” (Text in quotes were taken from: "The Buddha and His Teachings" Written by Ven. Narada Published by Cultural Conservation Trust)
If we read and reflect on the words of Gautama and the Ascended Masters, it will lead to a perfect understanding of the things of this world (right understanding). We see ourselves as we are, not as our mind sets us up, not as the world says we are. From that, our ideas and thoughts are clear and perfect (right thoughts). This perfect vision makes us understandable, tolerant, and we no longer wish to harm anyone in this world. Selfishness dissolves and we become altruistic. This leads us to speak correctly (right speech), act correctly (right action) and live correctly and perfectly (right livelihood). Acting in this way, we begin to detach from the illusions of the world and we notice positive results in our lives, we see our world transform. So, we spend each day more and more making the necessary conscious efforts to keep us on the middle path, on the path of perfection (right effort). As we sustain our consciousness on these noble paths given to us by Gautama, we purify our garments, that is, our four lower bodies and we dissolve the human creations created by the concrete mind. This requires that we learn to use the power of our attention, placing our attention only on pure, constructive, and perfect things, so we practice the seventh factor (right mindfulness). And with attention to the practice of teachings and constructive things, we keep our mind focused on a point "the perfection" that we want to be and experience in our journey, and thus, we practice the eighth factor - right concentration.
And as the venerable monk explained to us in his text "A focused mind resembles a polished mirror where everything is clearly reflected without distortion." We rise above all external distortions into a sphere of light, where we begin to see, think, speak, act and be the perfection of our higher mental body visibly manifested in this human octave. We surpass human limits and we don't need to incarnate anymore. We reach nirvana or ascension.
These are the four noble truths that Gautama gave us and the eightfold path generated from these truths. And as we can see, in essence it is exactly the same as everything that Saint Germain and the Ascended Masters have taught us in the discourses given from the teachings of the I AM Presence.
In the Love of my I AM Presence,
Explanation inspired by beloved Lord Maitreya, Artwork by Morgan Le Fay