If Buddha Were Alive Today How Would

If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should One Live”? Essay, Research Paper If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should One

If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should One
Live”? Essay, Research Paper

If Buddha Were Alive Today, How Would He Answer The Question: “How Should One


What is right? Who is to say what is right? How do we know what we are

doing is right? These are all questions that allude to how should one live?

Different people have different opinions on this area. Buddha’s theory is one

way to answer the question.

Buddha has four noble truths. These four noble truths are suffering, the

origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way of practice leading

to the cessation of suffering. If you go through all four of these truths, you

will live a “right” life.

Suffering, according to Buddha, is anything that doesn’t cause pleasure.

Anytime you do not get what you want, it is suffering. Being born is suffering.

In Buddha’s theory, isn’t practically everthing we do then suffering? Buddha

defines suffering with the five aggregates of grasping. They are the aggreagates

of grasping that is form, feeling, perception, mental formaitons, and

consciousness. I don’t agree with Buddha in any of this. I don’t think suffering

is caused by any of this. This is all life. I don’t think that we are suffering

all of this time. My definition of suffering would be anything that causes any

pain, not anything that doesn’t cause pleasure. There is a huge difference

between the two. With Buddha, you are either suffering or in pleasure. I think

that there is a middle ground. There are many times when people are not

suffering and also not feeling pleasure.

The origin of suffering, according to Buddha, is craving. Craving comes

from anything that is agreeable and pleasurable. Sights, sounds, mental pictures,

etc. are all agreeable and pleasurable therefore they all cause craving.

Whenever we think of any of this, cravings arise. This is where suffering comes

from. This is true to a point. Craving is what causes suffering. Craving comes

from pleasurable things. That means that pleasurable things cause suffering.

People want what they don’t have. These we think are pleasurable things. We

suffer from not getting what we want. When a baby wants a cookie and doesn’t get

it, he is suffering. It was not getting the cookie that caused the suffering. It

was the craving for the cookie that caused his suffering. Buddha was right on

the money when he said that craving is what caues suffering.

What is the stopping of suffering? If we want to stop suffering, we have

got to start at the beginning. To stop suffering, we have to stop craving. We

have to totally get away from it. Simple as that. It’s true. If we want to stop

suffering, we have to stop ourselves from craving. This is the third noble truth.

May sound easy to do, but in the fourth noble truth, we learn it is not as easy

as we think.

The fourth noble truth may sound as simple as a commercial. Stop all your

suffering in just eight easy steps!! As we journey through these eight “easy”

steps, we find them to not be as simple as we think. the first is Right View.

Right View is knowing that we suffer and what suffering is. It is knowing that

we can stop suffering. Step one is always the easiest. The second is Right

Thought. Right Thought is the thought og harmlessness. That means we have to

stop thinking about bad for other people. No more thinking about killing the

teacher who gave you a pop quiz the day you forgot your notebook at home. This

second stop in the eightfold path is not quite as easy as the first. I think

that as people, we generally feel jealousy over other people. It is this

jealously that leads us to ill thoughts of people. It is hard to stop. It comes

with feeling good about yourself. Next, Right Speech. Right Speech is no more

lying, slander, or harsh speech. In our society, we learn that doing all this is

ok. We learn from our parents that telling one “itty, bitty white lie” never

hurt anybody. We see in politics that slandering someone is o.k. To stop all

this, we’d have to start with a whole new generation and teach them that this is

wrong to do. It’s hard when you find out someone is talking bad about you to not

do the same. In Buddha’s theory, this isn’t allowed. The nest is Right Action.

Right Action is not taking life, not stealing, and no sexual misconduct. This is

not so hard. Many people in our society can’t do it, but many are. Many people

actually live this way. The fifth step is Right Livelihood. This is simply put

giving up wrong livelihood and keeping himself by right livelihood. People can

surely handle doing this. Right Effort is making an effort to grow. It is

bringing up an effort to stop doing what is wrong. I think people do this most

of the time. People are generally good. They make and effort to do what they

feel is good. They try not to do evil things. In my opinion, this is what people

are already doing. Right Midfulness is thinking of mind as mind, feelings as

feeling, etc. People tend to think of their thoughts as whats so. To be in Right

Mindfulness, we have to put things aside and think of what is actually so. We

have to stop making a story about things. An example of this is if you see a man

with a broken arm. People tend to make up a story about this. He was a mountain

climber and he fell while climbing Mt. Everest. It’s just a man with a broken

arm. Nothing more, nothing less. I may be totally off on that one, but that’s

what I think Right Mindfulness is. Lastly, we have Right Concentration. Right

Concentration occers after man has detached himself from craving and unwholesome

mental states, he can concentrate on the first jhana. Once he has inner

tranquility, he has reached the second jhana. When he gives up delight and is

mindful and clearly aware, he is in the third jhana. He gives up pleasure and

suffering. He gives up gladness and sadness. He is now in the fourth jhana. This

is Right Concentration. With all these, man puts a stop to suffering.

Back to the question at hand. If Buddha were alive right now, how would

he say one should live? I think that if he were alive, he’d take our whole

society into consideration when answering the question. I think he’d say that

people should be kind to one another and not cause harm. We should live by

establised “good” morals. We should be happy with what we have. Maybe not stop

every bad thing we say or think about or do, but try to limit ourselves. I think

that these are all things that Buddha might say. Most important, I think he’d

say “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”