The Four Noble Truths Of Buddhism

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In the history of Buddhism, suffering has always remained a key concept as it is the main reason for using Buddhist principles and practices to relieve ourselves from it. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism inform us of the following principles: suffering exists in life, there is a cause to our suffering, there is an end to our suffering, and following the eightfold path can relieve our suffering. Traditional forms of Buddhism suggest that we can overcome suffering by attaining Nirvana, or the state of enlightenment when human beings are freed from their desires and suffering. Buddhism today deviates from traditional views in that many modernists use different ways to relieve suffering in their communities while still incorporating some aspects of Buddhism. Two Buddhist modernist figures, Kaneta Taio and Che-Un Sunim, have worked in Japan and Korea respectively to help relieve the suffering of their people. Moreover, by evaluating the lives of Taio and Che-Un, we are able to identify limitations in the definitions of Buddhist modernism outlined by authors we have studied in class such as David McMahan and Anne Blackburn. Kaneta Taio is a zen priest known for his efforts to help the Japanese community after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in 2011. More than 15,000 people had lost their lives and 300,000 had lost their homes, creating a need for both physical and spiritual care among the Japanese community. Taio held various roles in the community by
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