Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Lesson 2 - The Four Noble Truths
Four Noble Truths
The Four Noble Truths along with the Eight Fold Practice form what is the foundation of Buddhist thought. The Four Noble truths are a core Buddhist belief on which all other beliefs stem. It was said that this was the first discourse given by Gautama Buddha after his realized experience of enlightenment. Therefore it is where we will start our practice.
First Noble Truth: The Nature of Dukkha: This is the noble truth of "dukkha" (remember Dukka or Dukkha means suffering): Birth is dukkha, aging is dukkha, sickness is dukkha, death is dukkha; union with what is displeasing is dukkha; separation from what is pleasing is dukkha; not to get what one wants is dukkha; to get what one does not want is dukkha; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are dukkha.
Second Noble Truth: The Origin of Dukkha (Samudaya): This is the noble truth of the origin of dukkha: It is this craving which leads to renewed existence, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for existence, craving for extermination.
Third Noble Truth: The Cessation of Dukkha (Nirodha): This is the noble truth of the cessation of dukkha: It is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, and non-reliance on it.
Fourth Noble Truth: The Way Leading to the Cessation of Dukkha (Magga): This is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of dukkha: It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
(Teacher note - all information is relayed in terms of the Mahayana/Theraveda tradition as Vajrayana teachings are not allowed until student has taken empowerment initiation. The lay practitioner may practice all Mahayana lessons taught here)