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Step 2: Came to believe that the cause of our suffering is our desire for pleasure.

Principle: Hope

In the Second Noble Truth the Buddha tells us the cause of our suffering is our ceaseless desire for pleasure (tanha) and ignorance (avijja). The abandonment of desire is a core value of Buddhist practice. For suffering to end, we must learn how to cease our craving, and acquire the wisdom we do not have. Suffering is caused by our desire to have things be different than they are; it is a grasping for self-satisfaction and fulfillment from external sources.

There is one form of craving, however, which is the desire for awakening (dhamma-chanda) which is the desire that leads one to the practice of the Middle Way; this is the beginning of ending the cycle of suffering.

Text or Verse

It is craving, which is accompanied by delight and lust that is craving for sensual pleasures.
The Middle-Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikaya 9.16)

Men who are tied to their families and possessions are more helpless than those who are in prison.
The Tevigga Sutta

The circumstances that set up the conditions for re-birth are those which have to do with cravings for sensual pleasures.


Buddhism teaches there are Three Refuges which are embodied as a Higher Power: the Buddha, the dharma and the sangha. Buddha means “one who is awake” and means taking refuge in that part of you which is awake, which can be present and mindful of each moment. It is the ability to engage in each moment fully, the practice of Mindfulness.


Mapping the Dharma: A Concise Guide to the Middle Way of the Buddha (go to Links menu to connect to the web site)

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