The Three Universal Truths of Buddhism

Buddhism is one of the world’s oldest and most enduring religions, with an estimated 500 million people practicing it today. Founded by Buddha Shakyamuni in 624 BC, this centuries-old religion is based on three universal truths that help us navigate our daily lives. These three universal truths are impermanence (Annica), suffering (dukkha), and non-attachment (anatta). Understanding these principles can help us to live a more balanced life full of contentment and compassion.

The Three Universal Truths Of Buddhism

The First Universal Truth – Impermanence

The first of the three universal truths is impermanence, also known as Annica. This principle teaches us that nothing lasts forever and that everything on earth is constantly changing. Every moment in life is unique and fleeting, so it is important to savor them while they last. Recognizing this helps us to accept things we cannot control, allowing us to live in the present rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.

The Second Universal Truth – Suffering

The second truth of Buddhism is suffering or dukkha. This does not just refer to physical pain; it includes other forms of distress such as boredom, embarrassment, dissatisfaction with relationships, etc. Dukkha helps us to understand how our desires can make us greedy and unkind. It is important to recognize that our life will never be perfect and accept the suffering that comes with it in order to find contentment.

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The Third Universal Truth – Non-attachment

The third universal truth of Buddhism is non-attachment or anatta. This means not allowing ourselves to become too attached to people, possessions, or ideas. We must remember to share what we have rather than only thinking about ourselves, and practice compassion for others instead of egoism. As a young child, you may have heard your mother tell you to “share your toys”; this is an example of the Buddhist principle of anatta.

How to Apply These Principles in Everyday Life


These three universal truths are meant to be used as a guide for living our lives. It is important to remember that everything changes and nothing can last forever, so it is wise to make the most of each moment. We should also recognize our suffering and understand that perfection cannot be achieved. Lastly, we must practice non-attachment by letting go of material possessions and egoism, and remembering to share what we have with others.

The principles of Buddhism can be seen in everyday life through meditation and mindfulness. Through mindfulness practices like yoga or tai chi, we can learn to observe ourselves objectively instead of letting emotions take control. Meditation also helps to acknowledge our feelings and thoughts without being attached to them, allowing us to approach life in a more balanced way.

The Three Universal Truths of Buddhism provide a foundation for living an enlightened life. We must remember that impermanence is inevitable, suffering can be controlled, and non-attachment leads to contentment. By applying these teachings to our lives, we can find peace with ourselves and others around us. With awareness comes clarity and understanding; may we all live in harmony with the world.


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