At some point in life we all seek healing in one form or another.

And what I love most in eastern philosophy and spiritual practice is that it directly addresses this and profound existential need for liberation in our life experience.

Buddhism for one was founded in India more than 2500 years ago by Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha. Buddhist principles are established based on the Four Noble Truths, which make up most of Buddha’s teachings. These Noble Truths include:

  • Dukkha: the Truth of suffering
  • Samudaya: the Truth of the origin of suffering
  • Nirodha: the Truth of the cessation of suffering
  • Magga: the Truth of the Path to the cessation of suffering

The four truths teach people that suffering exists, and there are causes and ways to end it. The Four Noble Truths form the basis of all teachings in Buddhism.

In relation to this chapter Dr Despenza brings to focus how our cognitive ability to recognize that we are suffering or that things aren’t as they could be in the fulfillment of our best life experiences is very liberating. If we finally can identify that there is a lack or disease in ourselves then we can go about finding the cure.

This chapter beautifully sums up this profound recognition and sets the stage preparing us for remedies and practices.

The ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” seems to be not only at the root of modern day meditation, but also of one of Shakespeare’s most famous lines and universal themes. In his play, Hamlet, the famed English playwright writes, “To thine own self be true.” Nowadays, one doesn’t have to read Shakespeare or study Socrates to hear this message. Mindfulness, meditation (the purpose of which is to familiarize yourself with your self), and yoga seem to be everywhere. Many of these philosophies are rooted in religion, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a science to support the claim; which is when one takes the time to get to know oneself, there are many emotional and physical benefits. 

By Co-Host Diana Eljabri