4 Noble Truths

  1. Pain in life is inevitable

  2. Resistance to pain causes suffering

  3. There is a path out

  4. The way is specific and holistic (yoga, meditation, etc.)

4 Noble Truths: Details

First Noble Truth

the diagnosis - Diagnosis

Pain in life is inevitable

"Life is suffering"


Second Noble Truth

the cause - Etiology

Resistance to pain causes suffering


Third Noble Truth

the cure - Prognosis

There is a path out

Fourth Noble Truth

the prescription - Treatment

The path is specific & holistic (ie Yoga)

Truth #1

Developing Mindfulness is the pathway to recognizing that suffering, lack of balance, challenges...exists.

  • Coming to experience with a beginners mind and an open heart... To see if you can hear something new.

  • Pay attention with curiosity, kindness, compassion & patience

  • Noticing sensations without judgment.

  • Remembering to remember

  • Attending to body, breath, mind & path

Truth #2

Kosha Model: Understanding the Koshas helps us see the causes & potential transformation of suffering.

BPSC: Using the BPSC context helps us understand development across the Koshas and the path to suffering.

BPSC by Ken Wilbur

Pain is a gift.

Pain is an opportunity. Pain and sorrow gives us the experience to open up to joy.
How we respond to pain determines the seriousness of the suffering (outcome).


Story of Leprosy:

There is a bacteria that causes leprosy. This bacteria, if left alone, removes the feeling of pain from a person that has it. If someone has a rock in their shoe, someone without leprosy would feel the pain and remove the rock, allowing the foot to heal. Someone with leprosy wouldn't feel the rock, thus not removing the rock, and causing great damage to the foot in the long run. This example shows us the benefit of pain in our life. If we remove pain, things are left to themselves that need to be removed from our life causing long-term damage. Pain gives us the opportunity to reflect on what is causing the pain and giving us the opportunity to change or remove things from our life not to cause continues damage or pain.



Information taken from Conceptualizing Yoga for Mental Health by Christiane Brems, PhD, ABPP, ERYT500, C-IAYT

YogaX, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, cbrems@stanford.edu