For the those interested in the foundations of Buddhist belief, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel’s Tell Me Something About Buddhism: Questions and Answers for the Curious Beginner can be a helpful introduction. In times of turbulence, remembering the simple teachings of Buddha, the Four Noble Truths of Suffering in particular, can help soothe the spirit.
“Once Buddha became aware of all the suffering that had been hidden from him, including old age, sickness, birth, and death, he left his family’s palace. He went to many teachers to understand their suffering, and they taught him various lessons about ending suffering. He excelled with all of his teachers, to the point that they asked him to become a teacher. However, Buddha refused their invitations to teach, feeling he had not yet been fully awakened to the condition of suffering . He continued his journey…
- There is suffering.
- There is a cause for suffering.
- There is cessation of suffering.
- There is a path leading to the end of suffering, called the Eightfold Path.”