The Path To Enlightenment, Peace, And Compassion

Following the path to enlightenment involves learning about the nature of universal human suffering and practicing time tested cognitive skills and compassionate ethics. Multitudes of people who have followed this philosophy have experienced enduring peace and happiness.

The reward for those following this path is an ethical philosophy that gives life meaning, peace and compassion without the artificial constraints of myth, dogma, cost or bureaucracy. Additionally, these practices are time tested and have worked for multitudes of people for centuries, teach compassion for all living things and respect for all religious and spiritual beliefs.

Universal Human Suffering

Physical pain and the futility of attachment to the impermanent are universal causes of suffering.

    Everyone experiences physical pain and discomfort due to injury, illness and aging. Emotional pain often results when we fall short of our personal expectations or experience material or social losses. Suffering is magnified by our desperate attempts to avoid the reality of loss and maintain attachments to that which is impermanent. Although there are many enjoyable life experiences, none of them lasts and our unrealistic attachment to them only causes more suffering. Recognizing the impermanence of all things and freeing oneself from irrational attachment minimizes suffering.

Cognitive Retraining

Ultimately your behavior and emotional state is controlled by the meaning you have learned to associate with life circumstances. With studied practice you can redefine your thinking, transcend your conditioning, neutralize suffering and discover true happiness.

Developing the habit of reflective thinking or consciously monitoring and guiding your thoughts in real time, allows you to live fully, in the moment, as opposed to responding automatically based on conditioning. Gradually you will develop an awareness of the origins of your thinking and behavior and be able to control the way you respond. The additional practice of daily breathing-focused meditation will allow you to relax deeply and provide the vehicle to release negative thinking and imagery.

Compassionate Ethics

Experience teaches that durable happiness comes from practicing a personal code of conduct that embraces right thinking, speech, and behavior based on the ethics of compassion. The guiding question that must be answered at any decision point is Will what I am about to think, say or do likely contribute to the welfare of others. Answering in the affirmative will show you the path.

Summary

Following the path involves learning the truths that lead to enlightenment: human suffering is universal, you can learn cognitive skills that will transform your life experience, and the practice of compassionate ethics will bring peace. The reward for following this path is an ethical philosophy that gives life meaning, peace and compassion without the artificial constraints of myth, dogma, or bureaucracy.

This philosophy developed over thousands of years has created a priceless resource for all those who wish to follow a path leading to enlightenment. An enlightened being sees reality clearly and lives fully and naturally in accordance with that vision. This is the goal of the Buddhist philosophy of life, representing the end of suffering for anyone who attains it.

Read more informative essays at James W. Siddall on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Pixabay under the creative commons license 2.0