The Message of the Buddha
Buddha's messages to his followers are described in simpler terms but the simplicity of the terms may be somewhat difficult to understand as the principles do not refer to ideas so much as to experience.
Here are few of the messages and their interpretations from the enlightened one himself.
Life is Suffering
The inevitable truth of life is that it ends. No one gets out alive; everyone suffers pain, sickness, death and decay. But "suffering" in the Buddhist principles refers to a bigger picture, a more extensive condition. In place of experiencing and living life directly, we create our own view of the world and live it. The view of the world serves to protect us from various reasons and explanations; but at the same time, our view may separate us from the nature, from real world, from spirituality and ultimately, from one another resulting all the experience of the life to be diverted or distorted leading us to suffer from living at one. We may become outsiders to the world and even to ourselves.
Suffering is caused by craving
Craving, in Buddhism, is more than the sense of "greed". It is something closer to what the western tradition call "pride" or a self centered way of thinking. The separate selfhood or "ego". This feeling of selfhood is acted upon others and the world around us as if we would be separate from everyone. The continuous reaction of craving, jealousy, fear, anxiety, ill will and indifference fills the mind is deep and extensive but normal kind of estrangement which is basically the evolved in the nature of human nervous system.
As we live upon our day to day experience of a heavy burden of unnecessary associations, fantasies, memories, emotions and diversions, our most convincing nature of suffering takes place. Instead of getting into or living each moment, we tend to react each moment and memories from our past experience of pain and frustration; then we react to the old pain; tehn we react to that reaction; and it just keeps on going on and on. A special form of mental torture or torment develops which contains endless layers of negative feelings, emotions, pain and self doubt comes out in this way. This procedure in Buddhism, is better known as "Samsara".
If we can be released from craving, we will be released from suffering.
This is basically the central belief and principle of Buddhism; when we accept and fully face as well as mitigate the self-causing sufferings in our lives; we then start to experience the life beyond our confusions, culture, self, knowledge and beyond delusions. What we find after our search is not an insignificant realm of alien people, but our own true shelter. The main nature and characteristic of life is its reality, which is good. Gratitude, love and happiness are the natural state of the truly awakened mind.
When people are released from the self-caused sufferings, they start to live and experience the moments of life more truly as they become more happy, cheerful and compassionate. The ultimate exposure of the reality causes a cosmic experience, which is better known as "Nirvana" or "Satori" in Zen.
The Eightfold path is the way out of suffering
A method was taught by Buddha in order to lead away the self-caused suffering to a more compassionate and knowledgeable way of life through the practice of morality, medication and wisdom which are described under eight points: right speech, right livelihood, right action, right mindfulness, right understanding, right concentration, right effort and right thought. As the Buddha's teachings avoid the extremes of renunciation and indulgence but emphasizes the life of moderation, compassion and nonviolence. This particular approach is known as the "Middle Path".