Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path
Three Characteristics of Existence
Four Boundless States
Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Five Hindrances
Ten Perfections
Five Aggregates
Ten Fetters of Existence

Four Noble Truths

  1. Suffering exists
  2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path

The theoretical framework is provided by the teaching of the Four Noble Truths, which the Buddha had proclaimed already in his first sermon and upon which he placed so much stress in his many discourses that all schools of Buddhism have appropriated them as their common foundation. The four truths all centre around the fact of suffering (dukkha), understood not as mere experienced pain and sorrow, but as the pervasive unsatisfactoriness of everything conditioned. The first truth details the various forms of suffering--birth, old age, sickness and death, the misery of unpleasant encounters and painful separations, the suffering of not obtaining what one wants. It culminates in the declaration that all constituent phenomena of body and mind, "the aggregates of existence" (khandha), being impermanent and substanceless, are intrinsically unsatisfactory. The second truth points out that the cause of suffering is craving (tanha), the desire for pleasure and existence which drives us through the round of rebirths, bringing in its trail sorrow, anxiety, and despair. The third truth declares that the destruction of craving issues in release from suffering, and the fourth prescribes the means to gain release, the Noble Eightfold Path: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

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Noble Eightfold Path

Three QualitiesEightfold Path
Wisdom (panna)Right View
Right Thought
Morality (sila)Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Meditation (samadhi)Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Contemplation

For practical purposes the eight factors of the path are arranged into three major groups which reveal more clearly the developmental structure of the training: moral discipline (including right speech, right action and right livelihood), concentration (including right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration), and wisdom (including right understanding and right thought). By the training in morality, the coarsest forms of the mental defilements, those erupting as unwholesome deeds and words, are checked and kept under control. By the training in concentration the mind is made calm, pure and unified, purged of the currents of distractive thoughts. By the training in wisdom the concentrated beam of attention is focused upon the constituent factors of mind and body to investigate and contemplate their salient characteristics. This wisdom, gradually ripened, climaxes in the understanding that brings complete purification and deliverance of mind.

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Three Characteristics of Existence

  1. Transiency (anicca)
  2. Sorrow (dukkha)
  3. Selflessness (anatta)

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Four Boundless States

The boundless states or brahmaviharas are considered friends on the way to Nirvana. They help in dissolving the idea of a separate self.

  1. Loving kindness
  2. Compassion
  3. Sympathetic Joy
  4. Equanimity

Near enemy is a quality that can masquerade as the original, but is not the original. Far enemy is the clearly opposite quality. The boundless state serves as an antidote for the quality mentioned as the far enemy.

PaliEnglishDescriptionNear EnemyFar Enemy
mettaloving kindnessgood-will, friendship, unconditional love for all beingsselfish lovehatred
karunacompassionempathy, to feel with someone instead of for someonepitycruelty
muditasympathetic joyspontaneous joy in response to others successhypocrisyenvy
upekkhaequanimityeven-mindedness based on insight into the nature of things indifferenceanxiety

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Seven Factors of Enlightenment

  1. Mindfulness
  2. Investigation
  3. Energy
  4. Rapture
  5. Tranquillity
  6. Concentration
  7. Equanimity

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Five Hindrances

  1. Sensuous lust
  2. Aversion and ill will
  3. Sloth and torpor
  4. Restlessness and worry
  5. Sceptical doubt

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Ten Perfections

  1. Generosity (dana)
  2. Morality (sila)
  3. Renunciation (nekkhamma)
  4. Wisdom (panna)
  5. Energy (viriya)
  6. Patience (khanti)
  7. Truthfulness (sacca)
  8. Resolution (adhitthana)
  9. Loving-Kindness (metta)
  10. Equanimity (upekkha)

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Five Aggregates

  1. Form (rupa) is made up of

  2. Feeling (vedana) is one of

  3. Feelings arise when there is contact between the six internal organs and the six external objects.

    Internal OrgansExternal Objects
    MindMental Object

  4. Perception (samjna)is related to the six external objects

  5. Volition (samskara) is the response of the will to the six external objects

  6. Consciousness (vijnana) grasps the characteristics of the six external objects

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Ten Fetters of Existence

  1. Self-delusion
  2. Doubt
  3. Clinging to Ritual
  4. Sensuous Lust
  5. Ill Will
  6. Greed for Fine Material Existence
  7. Greed for Immaterial Existence
  8. Conceit
  9. Restlessness
  10. Ignorance

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