‘One thing I teach, dukkha and release from dukkha.‘ The Buddha
In the Four Noble Truths the Buddha gives the essence of his understanding, his awakening.
The truth of suffering (dukkha).
The truth of the origin of suffering.
The truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha).
The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.
Dukkha is translated as suffering or unsatisfactoriness. It literally means ‘souring’. Dukkha is experienced because we are not awakened.
Dukkha is the pain of not realising our true nature. (Zen Graffiti)
What are the characteristics of dukkha? What are the symptoms? What is Dukkha? by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu.
To get a glimpse of wishless liberation, we notice the dissatisfaction—the dukkha—that arises in the heart and mind whenever we want something. Liberation Here and Now, Ayya Khema.
Dukkha does not necessarily arise because we can’t fulfil our wishes. Ayya Khema.
Real suffering is not the sound of the pneumatic drill and the cement mixer, but the stuff you create in your own mind—that is what dukkha is. Making Friends with the Cement Mixer by Ajahn Sumedho.
An alternative understanding of the Four Noble Truths
- Not being Awake is Dukkha (suffering);
- The cause of not being Awake is grasping;
- The cessation of grasping is Awakening (Buddha);
- The Eightfold Path is the life of Awakening.