Concepts & Principles

There are certain concepts and principles contained in the teachings of the Buddhas that must be understood. The first teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha was on the Four Noble Truths: The truth of suffering, the truth of the origination of suffering, the truth of cessation (nirvana), and the truth of the noble eight-fold path. These basic principles are expressed many ways in Buddhism. See the Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta and the Maha-Satipatthana Sutta  for examples. The eight-fold path can be condensed into the three principle trainings of morality or ethics, concentration (meditation or mind training), and wisdom or prajna. In addition to these concepts, one needs to understand the term dharma in its many uses, the workings of karma or cause and effect, and how to develop bodhichitta or true compassion. The unique approach to good fortune in Buddhism and how one realizes “Right Livelihood”, which is an aspect of the eight-fold path, are also important to understand. It is also important to understand the five vidyas or what Holy Beings do, especially the holy manifestations that are often described as miracles.