Guiding Truths
December 03, 2004

How are you suffering right now? What can you do about it? Those are the questions the Buddha has you ask: suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path to its cessation. These are the Buddha’s truths, but not his own personal truths. These are the only truths to which he gave the name ariya sacca, or noble truth. In other words, these are standard all across the board. And all of his teachings are centered on just these issues. We know this, we’ve heard it many times. The Buddha says that all he teaches is suffering and the end of suffering—yet when you look in the books, there seems to be so much more. People are often tempted to try to create a systematic philosophy out of what the Buddha taught, but all his many teachings are basically different approaches to these two issues: how to understand suffering, how to put an end to it.