Basic Beliefs and Practices The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain common to all Buddhism, include the “four noble truths”: existence is suffering ( dukhka ); suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment ( trishna ); there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana ; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering, the “eightfold path” of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Buddhism characteristically describes reality in terms of process and relation rather than entity or substance. Experience is analyzed into five aggregates ( skandhas ). The first, form ( rupa ), refers to material existence; the following four, sensations ( vedana ), perceptions ( samjna ), psychic constructs ( samskara ), and consciousness ( vijnana ), refer to psychological processes. The central Buddhist teaching of non-self ( anatman ) asserts that in the five aggregates no independently existent,
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