the arising [of suffering] (samudaya)
the ceasing [of suffering] (nirodha)
the path [to the ceasing of suffering] (magga)
This list provides us with an outline of the primary domains of human experience on which Gotama [the Buddha] focused his teaching. "Suffering" denotes the totality of our existential condition—birth, sickness, aging, and death—as well as the physical world, one's body, feelings, perceptions, inclinations, and consciousness. "The arising" denotes craving; greed, hatred, and delusion; and the effluences—that is, whatever reactivity is triggered by our contact with the world. "The ceasing" denotes the ending of that reactivity, which is equivalent to nirvana, the deathless, and the unconditioned. And "the path" denotes the eightfold path, which begins with stream entry and extends to all of our ethical, contemplative, and intelligent responses to life. Once defined, each of these four domains becomes the site for specific practices of the dharma.
---Stephen Batchelor, in after buddhism---