Four Noble Truths
The most fundamental of the Buddha’s teachings is that of the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths do not have one set translation into English, but essentially are:
1. The truth of dukkha
2. The origin of dukkha
3. The truth of the cessation of dukkha
4. The truth of the path away from dukkha (The Noble Eightfold Path)
The Noble Eightfold Path
The Eighfold Path is the Fourth Noble Truth, the prescription for freeing ourselves from suffering. The Noble Eightfold Path is a path of eight steps as follows:
1. Right View
2. Right Thought
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort or Right Diligence
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness or Four Establishments of Mindfulness are a method of practicing mindfulness meditation that the Buddha taught as the direct path to liberation.
1. Mindfulness of the Body
2. Mindfulness of Feelings
3. Mindfulness of the Mind
4. Mindfulness of Mental Phenomena
The Three Jewels
Sometimes known as the Three Refuges or the Triple Gem, the Three Jewels are the three things that Buddhists look to guidance for, or take refuge in. The Three Refuges are:
1. The Buddha
2. The Dharma
3. The Sangha
The Five Precepts
The Five Precepts essentially are the Buddhist code of ethics. Although they may differ slightly between Mahayana and Theravada traditions, the Five Precepts are:
1. I undertake the precept to refrain from the taking of any life.
2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual misconduct.
4. I undertake the precept to refrain from wrong speech.
5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating substances.
The Four Brahma-Viharas
The brahma-viharas are practices of the heart that the Buddha taught. The four brahma-viharas are:
The Ten Paramis
2. Sila (Morality)
3. Nekkhamma (Renunciation)
4. Panna (Insight)
5. Viriya (Diligence)
6. Khanti (Patience, Acceptance)
7. Sacca (Honesty)
8. Adhitthana (Determination)
9. Metta (Loving-Kindness)
10. Upekkha (Equanimity)
The Five Hindrances
The five hindrances are things that commonly arise in our practice that hinder growth. We all experience these hindrances in some form or another, and freedom from them is an important part of more advanced meditation practice.