The Four Noble Truths

Awakening the Buddha within, p. 89
"The First Noble Truth: Life is difficult.
The Second Noble Truth: Life is difficult because of attachment, because we crave satisfaction in ways that are inherently dissatisfying.
The Third Noble Truth: The possibility of liberation from difficulties exists for everyone.
The Fourth Noble Truth: The way to realize this liberation and enlightenment is by leading a compassionate life of virtue, wisdom, and meditation. These three spiritual trainings comprise the teachings of the Eight-Ford Path to Enlightenment."
"The First Noble Truth is known as the truth of dukkha. Etymologically speaking, the literal meanings of dukkha are 'hard to bear,' 'dissatisfactory,' 'off the mark,' 'frustrating,' and 'hollow.' The word dukkha, however, is frequently translated as suffering."
p. 91-92
"Fact of Life # 1
1. Ordinary, Everyday Difficulties or Dukkha
You don't always get what you think you want, and that makes most people feel unhappy at least some of the time. If you are born, you are eventually bound to experience both physical and emotional pain. Birth, aging, illness, loss, grieving, as well as disappointments happen to every single one of us. This isn't all bad. We can learn a great deal from the problems, both large and small, that we experience. Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude. They teach us that life is what life is: flawed, yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment. Everything is workable. Until we fully learn this lesson, we are burned time and again by our unrealistic expectations.
One of the Buddha's most famous sermons is known as the Fire Sermon. In it, he said that we are all afire with uncontrolled passions that consume and dominate our lives. Because of these passions, we are like children in burning houses. We don't have the maturity or the self-mastery to recognize our situation and swiftly douse those fires. We must grow up and learn to be mature and liberated adults, who understand the nature of reality."
"2. Difficulties or Dukkha Caused by Changing Circumstances
....These are moments of genuine happiness. The difficulty, or dukkha, that we all face is that these moments don't last:.....Thus we frequently end up feeling nostalgia, disappointment, and loss. Nothing good lasts forever; even the best moments of life are laced with a bittersweet quality. This is known as the dukkha of changing circumstances.
"3. Difficulties or Dukkha Caused by the Flawed Nature of Conditioned Existence
The Five Skandhas (components of individuality) are:
1) Form
2) Feelings or sensations
3) Perceptions
4) Intentionality or will
Are you basically a person of good will, which means that you have good intentions? What do you wish or intend for yourself? Your children? Your friends? What motivates or moves you? What are your intentions? Why do you do what you do? This skahdhas includes all volitional activities. As the Buddha pointed out, your intentions create your karma. Your will and intentions direct your mind, which controls the way you think, speak, and act. Your intentions establish the priorities in your life. Your past intentions condition or perpetuate your present intentions, habits and propensities. This is where karma is created.
5) Consciousness
....But Buddhism points out that you are not what you think; like the weather, what you think is unpredictable and subject to change. Because of this the untrained mind is also essentially unreliable. Your thoughts and feelings lack permanence. This is a fact of conditioned, conventional existence. ....
On the other hand, your innate, ineffable Buddha-nature is not impermanent; it is not subject to change. This inner light is unbound, untrammelled, and immaculate. It can be relied on; it can be depended upon. It is perfect, inherently wise and warm, free and complete from the beginningless beginning. ...
Fact of Life # 2
The Second Noble Truth tells us that there is a cause for life's difficulties (or dukkha) and that cause is craving. The Pali word is tanha, and it suggests a state of incessant, never-ending thirst - a craving that won't quit. Because all of us consistently desire, hunger, and thirst for various experiences and different things, we continue to suffer. It's not that we have to get rid of the things we desire. The objects are not the problem. It is our attachment and our identification with what we crave that causes suffering. ....
.....One entire sutra spoken by Buddha teaches how we can learn to love, to cultivate loving-kindness, empathy, and inclusiveness. What the Buddha taught is that we shouldn't try to own each other, nor should we become so identified or attached to anything (person, thought, feeling, career, goal, or material object) that we lose sight of reality - of the relativism and changing nature of all that is.
How many hours of your day do you spend on a treadmill activity trying to get what you think you want? At what point do all those endless hours spell out obsession? How much of your mind and time is spent fantasizing about the things you desire? It's all too easy to use up most of the hours in our lives being obsessed with romance, career, money, unrequited or turbulent love, hobbies, sex, or pleasure. .....
In this culture who can resist an almost mindless thirst for sensual pleasures, wealth, or power?......
There is a one-word antidote to thirst or craving: wisdom. The wisdom of freedom from craving. The secret teachings of Tibet tell us that we can recover our innate wisdom, awareness, and inner joy through spiritual practices, including meditation, self-inquiry, prayer, and cultivation of our naturally warm, tender, loving heart. Wisdom is the means to transcend craving and transform a treadmill existence into a lovely inspiring garden walk. This is true freedom.
Fact of Life # 3
The Third Noble Truth is that nirvana exists, and that it can exist for you. Nirvana is inconceivable inner peace, the cessation of craving and clinging. It is the end of suffering. Nirvana is liberation, everlasting freedom, fulfillment, and enlightenment itself.
Where is nirvana?.....The Tibetan masters teach that nirvana is ever present, just on the other side of our knot of clinging. According to the Tibetan teachings of Dzogchen, we can actually experience nirvana in a moment. It's something that we have to build up or fabricate; it's available through spiritual breakthrough. These are the 'Aha!' experiences that can be precipitated by simply letting go, by relinquishing craving, attachment, greed, and delusion, by waking up even for a moment from the dream of our semi-conscious lives.
The word nirvana etymologically means extinction of thirst and the annihilation of suffering. Buddhist masters teach that within each of us there is always a fire. Sometimes this fire is quietly smoldering; other times it is raging out of control. .....When we realize emptiness and perfect oneness with all, the fires of duality go out. When even the embers themselves are cool, when conflicting emotions are no longer burning us - this is nirvana, the end of dissatisfaction and suffering. This is liberation; this is bliss; this is true freedom.
The freedom from craving spoken of by the Buddha is an inconceivable inner peace, a sense of at-one-ness and completion. ...
All freedom from craving really means is peace and contentment. When you are momentarily satisfied, don't you feel more aliveness and enlivenment? Fearing desirelessness is akin to running from lasting happiness. The lasting happiness the Buddha speaks of does not mean having no personality or passion. Desirelessness means lacking nothing. ......
The point is that you are much more than your cravings and desires. Enlightened people have preferences......This tells us that enlightenment, freedom, Buddha-nature, lives and express itself through each personality. .....
According to the Buddha himself, nirvana is simply the relinquishment of craving, of clinging, of attachment. Yet this is not a small thing. The more our spiritual practice, our meditation, and our daily activity is congruent with desirelessness and nonattachment - the less inflexible, demanding, selfish, and greedy we are - the more nirvana starts to creep in, almost insidiously.
Nirvana is always trying to seep through the small clinks in our ego's armor. You can widen these openings by relinquishing some of the defenses and barricades of your persona, your holding on, your repetitive, addictive, habitual behavior - in short, your psychological conditioning. When we really do 'let go' and get used to letting go, that inner conflict, the irritation, that friction heat of dukkha actually does die down, and we can experience more and more of the inner peace that nirvana epitomizes. We become less dependent, less demanding, less complicated, less scattered and alienated, less speedy, needy, and greedy. We become more healed, whole, happy, healthy, and wise. We feel totally renewed.
Fact of Life # 4
The Fourth Noble Truth tells us that there is a tried-and-true path that leads us away from the dissatisfaction of conditioned existence and toward the end of craving known as nirvana. This path is known as the Noble Eight-Fold Path to Enlightenment, and it reflects the Buddha's specific instructions on how to purify one's heart and mind by living an impeccable and enlightened life.
The Buddha taught the spiritual seeker could expect to be confronted with some classic hindrances on his way.
How do you know that you are confronting a classic 'hindrance' on your spiritual path? Just ask yourself: Am I losing my sense of balance, my sense of priorities, and my sense of what's really important?Am I being carried away by temporary reactions, by destructive emotions? That's what challenges do; they obstruct your insight and prevent you from seeing things as they really are. They stand between you and the calm clear awareness of the enlightened mind. The Buddha listed five primary hindrances or challenges:
* craving
* ill will
* sloth and torpor (spiritual laziness)
* restlessness
* doubt
Buddha himself recognized that each of us will be facing different situations; we each have our own karma to work with. The all-knowing Buddha, who understood that each of us has to walk our own spiritual path to enlightenment, said,'Each one has to practice and strive for himself, the Perfect Ones have only pointed the way.'
.....that a life devoted to self-denial, self-deprecation, or self-blame and guilt is equally foolish and misdirected. Attachment is still attachment, even if that attachment takes the inverted form of self-denial and self-loathing.
The Eight-Fold Path, one step at a time
Step 1. Right View
Step 2. Right Intentions
Step 3. Right Speech
Step 4. Right Action
Step 5. Right Livelihood
Step 6. Right Effort
Step 7. Right Mindfulness
Step 8. Right Concentration
Although these are listed in numerical order, the Buddha's intent was that they were to be thought of as a circle, or an eight-spoked wheel with interconnected links directed at helping you develop the three essential values of buddhism: wisdom, ethics, meditative awareness.
Wisdom, ethics, and meditative awareness are known as the Three High or Enlightenment Trainings. Inseparable, they support each other, like a tripod or three facets of a single, luminous jewel. Waking your inner buddha depends upon actualizing these qualities in your life.

As the Buddha pointed out, your intentions create your karma. Your will and intentions direct your mind, which controls the way you think, speak, and act. Your intentions establish the priorities in your life. Your past intentions condition or perpetuate your present intentions, habits and propensities. This is where karma is created.

This is what I mean when I speak about "focus" and "focussing". Focus on what you wish to create and that will become part of your (karmic) experience.

What do you think?

Yes, definitely right. I still need to work upon my focus.