The Fourth Noble Truth is that there is a path to liberation. Of this truth the Buddha said, “This path leading to the cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, should be followed.”
The Buddha not only found a way out of suffering, he illuminated the path for others. He left a map, a sequence of practice-methods called The Noble Eightfold Path.
The Eightfold Path is not a mountain to be climbed, but a view in which to rest. To experience this view cannot be contrived. It comes naturally when layers of confusion fall away . We call the means of the path ‘the dharma.’
As centuries have gone by after the Buddha’s passing, Buddhism has taken root in many places, many cultures, many times. Each time and place have added their own richness of wisdom and perspective to the dharma. Each has a unique method and unique forms—meditation, music, art, medicine, work forms, liturgy and rituals. All sparkle in their uniqueness and beauty. Like different plants growing from the same seed, they all bear fruit. The Buddha’s teaching is a living, evolving thing. It is the wish of his compassionate heart alive and well, even today.
Your longing—that spark of curiosity and warmth and aliveness in your heart—is your foot on the path. Welcome.
You do not need to be good. You do not need to be something you are not. You are enough. You only need to uncover what is already there, what has always been there, to be free. But as the Buddha noted in the Fourth Noble Truth, you have to follow the path. You have to get moving.
That’s why we’re here.