Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths are for those seeking enlightenment and refuge from suffering. In brief, they are: (1) Suffering exists. (2) Suffering arises from attachment to desires. (3) Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases. (4) Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path.
The Eightfold Path is expressed as the roads to the cessation of suffering and to enlightenment for the purpose of personal happiness and the happiness of all others. They are: (1) Right View/Right Understanding, (2) Right Thought/Right Intention, (3) Right Speech, (4) Right Action, (5) Right Livelihood, (6) Right Effort, (7) Right Mindfulness, and (8) Right Concentration. The path is usually divided by Buddhist practitioners into three sections – the wisdom section comprising of right understanding and right intention; the morality section comprising of right speech, right action and right livelihood; and the mental development section consisting of right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
The Middle Way
Another principle of Buddhism is “The Middle Way” which implies a balanced approach to life and the regulation of one’s impulses and behavior. Buddhism itself is sometimes referred to as “The Middle Way” indicating reconciliation of the extremes of opposing views. In the broadest sense, the Middle Way refers to the actions or attitudes that will create happiness for oneself and others. In many ways it is similar to the humanist perspective that recognizes that reason and rationality should be balanced with empathy and compassion.