Monday, 22 February 2010

Unpacking the Four Noble Truths

The Four Noble Truths
The central teaching of the Buddha is like a present with many layers of wrapping. To realise its fundamental significance we have to investigate a number of topics.

The First Noble Truth
Whilst we all long for happiness, unsatisfactoriness and suffering (Dukkha) exist and are universally experienced. This needs to be understood.
Suffering (dukkha)
The three marks (laksanas) of conditioned existence; annica, dukkha, anata. Dependant origination; the five aggregates.

The Second Noble Truth
The three mental poisons (kilesas) , greed, hatred and delusion are the causes of dukkha.
Causes of suffering
Karma and rebirth. Samsara and the wheel of life

The Third Noble Truth
There is an end to unsatisfactoriness and suffering. The causes of suffering have to be abandoned if we want true lasting happiness.
Cessation of suffering
Enlightenment and Nirvana

The Fourth Noble Truth
The end can be attained by following the Noble Eightfold Path. This needs to be practiced if you wish to bring about an end to dukkha in your life and eventually gain Enlightenment and Nirvana.
The path to the cessation of suffering - The Noble Eightfold Path: Traditionally stated as Right View, Intention, Speech, Action, Livelihood, Effort, Mindfulness, Concentration. We will also be comparing this with Sangharakshita's presentation of the Noble Eightfold Path.

We will be learning about and discussing these topics in our second session 8.30 - 9.30pm from 23rd February to May 2010. See you at the Millbridge Room, Hertford for meditation and dharma talks.