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Four Noble Truths. By Henry Chu Temple Master. Introduction. Last week we visited the Eightfold Path so this week we will visit the other foundational Buddhist teaching, the Four Noble Truth

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four noble truths

Four Noble Truths

By Henry Chu

Temple Master

  • Last week we visited the Eightfold Path so this week we will visit the other foundational Buddhist teaching, the Four Noble Truth
  • The Four Noble Truth is intimately connected to the Eightfold path because the Fourth Truth is the Eightfold Path
  • Therefore the two teachings are essentially one
  • The Four Noble Truth are: Life is suffering (dukkha), Origin of Suffering, The Cessation of Suffering, and the Path Leading to Cessation of Suffering
  • The gist of Four Noble Truth is the understanding and the way to evade Suffering
  • This is the foundational teaching--the advance teaching of Buddhism takes a different turn on the perspective of suffering
four noble truth
Four Noble Truth
  • The First Truth—Life is suffering
  • Buddha’s initial motivation to seek enlightenment is due to suffering
  • The eight inevitable sufferings of life are:
    • Birth --Aging
    • Sickness --Death
    • Unfulfilled desires --Overwhelming senses
    • Separation of beloved --Gathering of hateful
four noble truth1
Four Noble Truth
  • The First Truth—Life is Suffering
  • The Buddhist perspective is that life is a suffering sea and that sufferings are inevitable part of life
  • Therefore the evasion of the sufferings of life is the primary goal of Buddhist practitioner and that the subsequent works are gearing toward this goal
four noble truth2
Four Noble Truth
  • The Second Truth—The Origin of Suffering
  • There are many types of desires, all of which can lead to suffering
    • Types of desires:
      • Sensual desires--cravings (i.e. food, sleep, sex)
      • Emotional desires—desire for love, power, dominance
      • Spiritual desires—need to exist (physical attachment)
    • Desire arise out of “ignorance”
    • Ignorance arise out of ego
four noble truth3
Four Noble Truth
  • The Second Truth—The Origin of Suffering
  • By understand the origin of suffering, the practitioner gains a perspective on suffering and realize their pursue of desires are the root cause of their sufferings
  • With the new found perspective, the practitioners can begin to reverse the cycle of suffering and transcend out of suffering
the four noble truth
The Four Noble Truth
  • The Third Truth—The Cessation of Suffering
  • The eradication of all desires is the way toward the cessation of suffering
  • When a person achieved the state of without desires, then the Nirvana experience will occur, by which the person will no longer get caught in the cycle of suffering
  • The way to achieve the state without desire is the Fourth Truth
the four noble truth1
The Four Noble Truth
  • The Fourth Truth—the Path toward the Cessation of Suffering
  • The Eightfold path is the path toward the cessation of suffering
  • The Eightfold path are:
    • Right perspective --Right thought
    • Right speech --Right action
    • Right livelihood --Right endeavor
    • Right mindfulness --Right meditation
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The Four Noble Truth
  • The Advance Perspective
    • The Hinayana tradition (the small vehicle) is totally focused on the Four Noble Truth so their entire focus of practice is on the evasion of sufferings
    • The Mahayana tradition (the great vehicle tradition) is less focus on the evasion of suffering, rather it focus on the expansion of the capacity to endure suffering
    • The Bodhisattva way is the enduring of sufferings for others so they too can attain Nirvana
  • The Four Noble Truth (along with the Eightfold path) are the foundational teachings of Buddhism.
  • The entire focus is on the evasion of suffering and the ways to achieve the state of non-suffering (or Nirvana)
  • The Mahayana tradition expanded on the teaching to the embrace of sufferings