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Buddhism has alternately been called a religion a philosophy an ideology and a way of life As with all the other great spiritual traditions that have withstood the test of time Buddhism offers many different paths for people with different kinds of sensibilities needs and capacities Buddhism began in Northern India six hundred years before the Christian Era Over a period of about a thousand years Buddhism spread north into Tibet south into Sri Lanka Southeast into Laos Cambodia Vietnam east into Burma China Korea and Japan As Buddhism spread it adapted to these host cultures and in each case was shaped and influenced in flavor and style by preexisting rituals and cosmologies When we speak of Tibetan Buddhism or Japanese Buddhism or Korean Buddhism And within each cultural circle many different paths lineages and sects emerged The Four noble truths In Buddhas first teachings he explained the four noble truths He first declared what he had learned on the day he had left the palace namely that suffering is universal and inevitable In the Second Noble Truth he explains the immediate cause of suffering is desire The ultimate cause of suffering however is ignorance concerning the true nature of reality The Third Noble Truth encourages humanity asserting that there is a way to dispel ignorance and relive suffering This path is detailed in the Fourth Noble Truth in the form of the Eightfold path According to the Buddha the eightfold path is the means to achieve liberation from suffering Specifically this path includes Right View Right Thought Right Speech Right Action Right Livelihood Right Effort Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration
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