Personal Growth

A Summary of Buddha's Teaching

From Deepak Chopra’s Latest Book,
Buddha, A Story of Enlightenment

Last Spring, my husband and I heard Deepak Chopra speak in person. The experience was very powerful, enlightening. If ever you get the chance, go hear him speak. I bought his latest book, Buddha, A Story of Enlightenment. It is novel based on fact of a man who was born Prince Siddhartha Suddhodana, in the Kingdom of Sakya, 563 BCE.

Buddha means "someone who is awake." Deepak Chopra captures the human side of this man. We learn of his journey of leaving behind his royal life to become a monk and eventually achieve enlightenment, to become The Buddha.

In the last chapter, The Art of Non-Doing, A Practical Guide to Buddhism, Deepak gives the reader some very simple and practical answers to some difficult questions. The first question is, "How am I supposed to follow someone who constantly insisted that he was no longer a person and didn’t have a self?" Deepak’s answer, "Ideally, you follow him by losing your own self—which seems impossible, since it’s your self that’s fascinated by him. It’s your self that’s suffering and wants to be rid of suffering. The primary message of Buddhism is that the self cannot accomplish anything real. It must find a way to disappear, just as Buddha did.

In the Epilogue there is a summary of the teachings of Buddha. Even though it has been 2,500 years, the information is still useful today, no matter your religious preference. Many of today’s popular writers, teachers, and therapies are using the same material. Following is a brief summary of the teachings of Buddha which may benefit you on your journey. I recommend reading Deepak’s book.


Summary of Buddha Teaching

The Four Noble Truths

Life contains suffering – suffering exists

Suffering has a cause, and the cause can be known. I have heard it stated that "suffering exists due to attachment"

Suffering can be brought to an end

The path to end suffering has eight parts – the eightfold path


The eightfold path

Right view or perspective

Right intention

Right speech

Right action

Right livelihood

Right effort

Right mindfulness

Right concentration





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