Today, we focus on the Third Noble Truth: when the cause of suffering is gone, suffering is also gone.


Third Noble Truth - when craving/wanting ends, suffering ends

Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering:
it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving,
the giving up and relinquishing of it,
freedom from it,
nonreliance on it.
Bhikkhu Bodhi translation, SN 56.11 Discourse on the Turning of the Wheel of Dhamma


Suffering ends, when we end wanting/craving

The third Noble Truth points to the fact that, when we don’t have this thirst, this wanting or craving, suffering ends. This can be quite simply demonstrated: answer question 1 in the exercise below.

How to let go - 4 ways

What is slightly missing from the English translation are the four ways of letting go of craving/wanting/thirst, explained in this Third Noble Truth.

  • caga - generosity, or giving. This is a form of renunciation, which is covered next in Right Motivation.
  • patinissiga - giving things up, or to throw things away. Likewise, a kind of renunciation.
  • vimutti - to be free of things. Also a form of renunciation.
  • analayo - to not let things stick (to one’s mind). This is slightly different, in that it is to not even let things get attached to you in the first place.

My teacher Ajahn Brahm once gave a great talk about this, titled “Four Ways of Letting Go”. It takes an hour, but is well worth the time:



  1. Take a moment to recall the happiest moments of your life. Bring yourself back to those moments. Now, ask yourself: in those moments, did you want to be anywhere else? Did you want anything else? What did you want, if at all?
  2. Consider the Four Ways of Letting Go: what are you holding onto, which is causing you to suffer, which you could consider letting go of in these four ways?

Orbit Prompts for Review