Dharma and Nirvana

Topics: Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Four Noble Truths Pages: 2 (520 words) Published: February 22, 2014
Dharma is the teaching and doctrine of the Buddha, which include the Four Noble Truths – the most fundamental Buddhist doctrine. The Third Truth explains nirvana as cessation; the cessation of craving. “When these effects of the chain of causation are ended one by one, he at last, being free from all strain and substratum, will pass into blissful Nirvana.”[1] In effect once you can end suffering caused by craving you can attain Nirvana, this is not parinirvana (final nirvana) like the Buddha achieved; rather it is sopadisesa-nirvana (nirvana in this life). “This path opens the eyes, bestows understanding, leads to peace of mind, to the higher wisdom, to full enlightenment, and to Nirvana!”[2] The idea of nirvana is neither cause nor effect but rather being, this is a hard concept to grasp. We are taught throughout our lives to seek answers and when the answer is simply - nirvana just is; it’s a tough idea to wrap your head around. The video of Thich Nhat Hanh explaining Nirvana in relation to science makes it easier for me to understand the meaning of nirvana. “Nirvana is the extinction of all suffering though the removal of wrong perceptions through mediation” [3] - not a removal of ideas but a removal of your own perception of ideas - wrong perceptions. In attaining nirvana, you achieve freedom from reality and your perception of reality. This is discussed though the views of realism (our perception of reality) and internalism (our internal constraints on which we filter reality). The way I understand this process is that we are all individuals who have traveled different paths to get where we are, for example all the students in this class have the reality of taking the class, reading the same materials and responding to the same questions, yet we all bring our own perceptions of the subject, as well as a different knowledge base, etc. – so our experience of the class is different yet we identify this as reality. In order to attain nirvana we would...
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