Edgecombe Community College
REL 110 OL1 World Religions
Instructor:  Rev. Stephen A. Herring
Information for Essay Question on Buddhism
Please compose a well developed essay describing how it is that the concept of Prajna, the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path to Enlightenment are helpful in solving problems in the real world today.
In order to answer this question you need to understand Buddhism as a non-theistic religion.  This means that Buddhism is not about trying to understand or relate to a God or group of gods who are somehow separate from the human world.  Buddhism is not interested in “God said this”, or “God said do that.”  Buddhism is about learning to overcome suffering in this life.  This means Buddhism is an enormously practical religion.  It is about ways people can overcome the difficulties they are facing right here, right now.  It is about solutions to problems which cause suffering.  The hard part is that, when we need solutions to our problems, we often make the mistake of looking too closely at the problem, and not looking at ourselves.  The truth is that we are often the one who causes our own problems.  We need to understand the motives and motivations, the desires which drive us into our own difficulties.  If we are willing to let go of these desires, we will often find that our suffering will cease.
To answer this question you need to read over the book and other material on the Four Noble Truths, and on the Noble Eightfold Path.  Make sure you examine each element and make sure you understand each element.  Keep focused on these twelve items.  Compose a paragraph looking at the practical aspects of each element and at how understanding and applying each element can help a person solve problems.
Also, remember to list your sources.  Citations may be in any format you choose, but you must give clear indication of where you found the information you are submitting.
Length for this assignment should be around three pages.