The third noble ruth is the cessation from suffering. This is how it is said in Maha-Satipatthana Sutta.
"And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.
" Maha-satipatthana Sutta: The Great Frames of Reference" (DN 22), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.22.0.than.html . Retrieved on 7 May 2013., 15 October 2011,
So the third noble truth cessation of suffering is basically cessation of craving. In the passage above in Maha-Satipatthana sutta Buddha explains the craving that results from the cognitive function of the six senses. This is our "world." The world of six senses. This is basically how we perceive our world around us. Now we will briefly revisit the basic mind works model (shown below).
You can see from the figure above how the cognitive pathways flow from the senses and how contact plays a central role in making this a reentry circuit of thoughts. It is important to note that only one consciousness arises at a given time resulting in one contact. This will be the corresponding contact of the sense base that is firing (one sense is on "fire") in that moment. However in the model above it is shown as one common contact to keep the model simple. Therefore only one sense base is born (and die) at a given time. This the momentary birth and death sometimes we talk about in Buddhism. We have discussed in great detail how we can apply this model to dependent origination and rebirth in our other posts like the mind work model, rebirth and the youtube channel videos.
From dependent origination we know that contact causes feeling and feeling causes our craving. This then causes our clinging (feeding). Please see the diagram below. Here only five steps are shown out of the twelve for the purpose of this post.
If we can get rid of our contact we will have no more feeling and no more craving. However it is impossible to get rid of the first contact. It is a process dependently arisen as a result of an interaction between a sense and a sensory object. We will call the first contact as the primary contact. The subsequent contacts that arise as a result of reentry of thoughts we will call here as the secondary contacts. The generation of secondary contacts we are entirely responsible and it is a result of our craving. The caving generates directed thoughts and evaluation of the sensory object perceived through the sense organ (as said in the above passage from the sutta). The idea of training the mind through the noble eight fold path is to gradually get rid of the secondary contacts that occur as a result of our craving as we cling to the object. As we become disenchanted and dispassionate (less craving to the same object), less and less contacts will form from the same sensory encounter. When one reaches cessation only the primary contact will remain with a given sensory encounter. There is no more craving and clinging. This is "when one sees, one only sees (brief instructions Buddha gave to Bahiya)." No more delight and evaluation of sights as before. There are no more taints (previous memories of the encounters) automatically flowing through the mind as there is no more craving. However if he intends to have more contact he can do so if necessary without clinging. The only way to confirm this hypothesis is to directly experience this ourselves, developing the noble eight fold path to its culmination and gain insight knowledge, vision and the final release.
If this hypothesis is correct then there should be a sutta that explains the cessation of contact (secondary) leading to cessation of feeling and cessation of craving. Nibbedhika sutta is an good example for this.
"And what is the cessation of feeling? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of feeling..
Here what is meant by the cessation of contact is the cessation of the secondary contact or multiple secondary contacts as a result of reentry thoughts. Please see below the extract of a passage on feeling from this sutta.
"Nibbedhika Sutta: Penetrative" (AN 6.63), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. , 4 July 2010,http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an06/an06.063.than.html . Retrieved on 7 May 2013.
So in summary with the cessation of contact (secondary) there comes the cessation of feeling, craving and clinging. This means no more becoming and no more birth. The end of birth means no more old age, sickness, death. This is end of suffering in life. The key is to follow the noble eightfold path as Buddha once said "the right technique will give you the right result."