The Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Three Gates

Steven Barnes
1 min readMar 3, 2022

I am no Buddhist, but have meditated, practiced various yogas and martial disciplines, studied shamanism and other paths long enough that I recognize truth when I see and feel it. The “Eightfold Path” book came out of a drive to see if a work of “EC” style stories could conceivably be a contribution to a philosophical tradition.

My understanding is that when the Buddha received his enlightenment, his first teaching was of the “Four Noble Truths”:

  1. There is suffering
  2. There is a CAUSE of suffering
  3. There is a CURE for suffering
  4. The Eightfold Path is this cure: Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

That through proper understanding and practice of these, a life free of suffering could be attained.

Interesting to compare them to the Three Gates (Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Useful?), which would be a different view of the same mountain, don’t you think? Considering how the Buddha’s core teachings relate to the Gates would be, I think, a useful exercise.

I love cross-referencing different models. Such actions ALWAYS yield powerful results.

Why not try comparing and cross referencing them for yourself? What insights do you produce? Are any changes in your behavior or perspective suggested?



Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.