As with the previous articles I use a quotation from SN56.11: Dhammacakkappavattanasutta.
The Third Truth tells us what we need to do to escape from the endless suffering, the endless unsatisfactoriness and despair that we experience in this world that we live. It is not easy, but it is possible; and why is it possible? Because Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, achieved it, and he was a man, a simple human being, just like you and me.
And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.
The cessation of suffering! Just think of it! No more worry, no more stress, no more concern. Pain will no longer trouble you, despair will be a thing of the past. How can one man, 2400 years ago promise such a thing. Well he does so by stating how we have to learn how to behave. We need to let go of craving for this material world in which we live. We need to let go of our iPads, our mobile phones, the desire for good food, the desire for a comfy bed at night. All the things that western society tells us we must have, we have to let go of it all.
That does not mean we need to lead the life of an acetic, we just have to let go of the continual desire and ‘need’ for such things. Even the ‘need’ to be liked and appreciated needs to be got rid of. All these things lead to Dukkha, and many more. Our loved ones, our friends, our family; they all lead to Dukkha.
This is a hard lesson to take but it is necessary if we are to escape the endless cycle of Samsara. We have all been here before; countless times, and we will be back here again, countless times, if we do not release ourselves from the craving for material and sensual things.
Samsara is not a state that we find ourselves in but is a thing we actually do. Samsara is actually a verb. We do Samsara. We cause the stress, unsatisfactoriness and suffering to ourselves; but that is a whole subject for another article.
What we need to take from the Third Noble Truth is that to escape from our sufferings is within our own control. All we need to do is take control, grab the reigns and guide ourselves towards peace, towards Nibbana.