The Buddha was always regarded as a doctor, because his teaching can really help us to heal the suffering. Through his own practice and enlightening, he found the root of the suffering and the way to cut it off. He encouraged us to face the suffering bravely and penetrate into its fake mask. His understanding about suffering was called Four Noble Truths, the “Noble” is to show the importance of this four points, and they are important for everyone, because nobody doesn’t want to be free from suffering.
Everyone has the experience of suffering. When giving birth, both mother and baby will take the suffering; ageing will not only bring us suffering in the body but also psychologically. We were tortured by pain, ache, fever, coldness when we are sick; on our dying we’ll be full of fear and can’t bear the declining of the body; we’ll suffer when departing from loved ones, we’ll suffer when we are in the fire of hatred and jealousy, we’ll also suffer when we can’t have what we are eager to own. There are potential sufferings always waiting for you: when you sit in one posture too long to endure, when the things are changing silently away from what you expected, when the cause of happiness transforms into the seed of worrying…
The cause of suffering (diagnosis)
All the sufferings are related to the habit of clinging. The root of clinging is the illusion of “inherent self”, based on this “inherent self” we set up differentiation. When we cling to the body, there will be “I feel good” or “I feel bad”. When we cling to something, there will be “I like” or “I don’t like”. When we cling to something we like or feel good, we hope it can stay longer or even has no change. But nothing can exist depending on itself, so nothing can stop changing – impermanence. The “inherent self” is the root of the concept of “permanence”, this pair of contradictions will always put us into the trap of suffering.
The cessation of suffering (cure)
Before Buddha became a great doctor, he cured himself first. Based on his own process of practice and enlightenment, he has assured us that the suffering can be cured and it is possible not to rise again. That means the suffering will not have the causes and conditions to rise again. We will be free from any kind of extreme concept. But all of these are based on attaining the truth of “no inherent self”.
The way of ceasing the suffering (treatment)
Buddha taught us to practice along the Three Practice and Eight-Fold Path: Wisdom (right view, right thinking), Concentration (right mindfulness, right meditation), and Precept (right speech, right action, right diligence, right livelihood). All these practices will ultimately point to the Four Dharma Seals: Everything is impermanent, Understanding of suffering, No inherent self and Nirvana is beyond concept. It is the key to open the lock of suffering : )