What is the First Noble Truth?
The First Noble Truth is that life is suffering. To live, you must suffer. It is impossible to live without experiencing some kind of suffering. We have to endure physical suffering like sickness, injury, tiredness, old age and eventually death and we have to endure psychological suffering like loneliness, frustrations, fear, embarrassment, disappointment, anger, etc.
Sometimes it is referred to in Sanskrit as Dukkha. And it is often translated as suffering. I have recently heard it translated as stress. I think that is an adequate translation.
Now, some would also call this the noble truth of Idealism. As in, we have some idea of what life should be like, and when it is different we experience suffering; or stress.
This resonated with me for some time. It seems like it is a sound idea.
But it is still an idea.
Here is my (heretical?) idea. The first noble truth is the first delusion. This delusion is caused by our memories. If, we practice concentration on the present moment, and we do not dwell on our [false?] memories than we have no thing to compare anything to but the present moment, it is an unknown.
Consider this: every moment of time is unique unto itself. While it has a past, that past is no longer reality. So how, in reality, can there be suffering?
Our memories are not a bad thing to banish, we live and we learn. But at the same time, we should not attach to them.
All of my harmful actions,
born from beginningless greed, hate, and delusion,
through body, speech, and mind,
I now fully avow.