Author Topic: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS  (Read 2125 times)

Offline wincha

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THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« on: May 25, 2010, 12:33:37 am »
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

We can experience these truths, which lie at the heart of the Buddha's   teachings, through direct experience. They can be viewed as
  (1) Diagnosis of an illness;
  (2) Prognosis;
  (3) Recovery; and
  (4) Medicine to cure the disease.

The first 2 truths deal with the way   things are; the last 2 point the way to freedom from suffering.
 
 1. The Noble Truth of Suffering
  Besides "suffering," other translations of the Pali word dukkha include unsatisfactoriness, dis-ease, and instability. All these words   point to the fact that no conditioned phenomenon can provide true   (lasting) happiness in our lives. The first step in a spiritual life is to
  look very closely and honestly at our experience of life and see that   there is suffering. We tend to overlook or ignore or just blindly react to   the unpleasant, so it continually haunts us. Yet although physical   suffering is a natural aspect of our lives, we can learn to transcend   mental suffering.

  2. The Noble Truth of the Cause of Suffering
  Through a lack of understanding of how things truely exist, we  create and recreate an independent self entity called "me."
  The whole of our experience in life can be viewed through this sense   of self. In consequence, various cravings govern our actions. Cravings   arise for sense experiences, for "being" or "becoming" (e.g. rich,   famous, loved, respected, immortal), and to avoid the unpleasant.  These cravings are the root cause of suffering.

  3. The Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering
  The mind can be purified of all the mental defilements that cause   suffering. Nibbana, the ultimate peace, has been compared to the   extinction of a three-fold fire of lust, ill-will, and delusion. One who has   realised cessation has great purity of heart, ocean-like compassion,   and penetrating wisdom.

  4. The Noble Truth of the Way to the Cessation of Suffering
  The Way leading to cessation contains a thorough and profound  training of body, speech, and mind. Traditionally it's outlined as the Noble Eightfold Path:
     (1) Right Understanding;
     (2) Right Intention;
     (3) Right Speech;
     (4) Right Action;
     (5) Right Livelihood;
     (6) Right Effort;   
     (7) Right Mindfulness; and
     (8) Right Concentration.
   On the level of    morality (sila), the Path entails restraint and care in speech, action, and livelihood. The concentration (samadhi) level requires constant    effort to abandon the unwholesome and develop the wholesome, to increase mindfulness and clear comprehension of the mind-body    process, and to develop mental calm and stability. The wisdom  (panna) level entails the abandonment of thoughts of sensuality,    ill will, and cruelty; ultimately it penetrates the true nature of    phenomena to see impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and    impersonality. When all 8 factors of the Path come together in harmony to the point of maturity, suffering is transcended. In summary,   the Four Noble Truths can be thought of as that which is to be
  (1) comprehended, (2) abandoned, (3) realized, and (4) developed.

ref
http://www.dhammathai.org/e/dhamma/nobletruth/nobletruth.php

Offline Monkey Mind

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 02:32:56 am »
Thank you, Wincha. Great place for newbies to begin, and good practice for the rest of us to review...

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 03:45:03 am »
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS

A good summary. :)

Spiny

Offline ABC

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 04:47:27 am »
We can experience these truths, which lie at the heart of the Buddha's   teachings, through direct experience. They can be viewed as
  (1) Diagnosis of an illness;
  (2) Prognosis;
  (3) Recovery; and
  (4) Medicine to cure the disease.
Hello Wincha

Thank you for your postings & articles.

To me, the quote above is an very accurate metaphor.  

 
Quote
1. The Noble Truth of Suffering
 Besides "suffering," other translations of the Pali word dukkha include unsatisfactoriness, dis-ease, and instability. All these words   point to the fact that no conditioned phenomenon can provide true   (lasting) happiness in our lives. The first step in a spiritual life is to  look very closely an  honestly at our experience of life and see that   there is suffering. We tend to overlook or ignore or just blindly react to   the unpleasant, so it continually haunts us. Yet although physical   suffering is a natural aspect of our lives, we can learn to transcend   mental suffering.

For me,  there is a departure here from the diagnostic approach and, instead, a more 'cosmic' approach. More closer to the 2nd characteristic (dukkha lakana) than the 1st noble truth (dukkha ariya sacca).

If we take a step back, the 1st truth can be compared to sick people visiting the doctor. They report to the doctor "I am suffering due to birth,  I am suffering due too sickness, I am suffering due to aging, I am suffering due to death", "I am suffering due to pain", I am suffering due to separation, loss & love".

This is the same as people saying: "I am sick due to sneazing", "I am sick due to abdomenal pain". Here the ordinary people describe the symptoms to the doctor but the doctor, who is an expert, diagnoses the illness. The doctor states: "You have dermatomyositis".

The Buddha was the same.

The ordinary people listed outer symptoms but the Buddha diagnosed all of these dukkhas as upadana.

Kind regards

  :anjali:
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 04:56:37 am by ABC »
Therefore, Ananda, engage with me friends and not as opponents. That will be for your long-term well-being & happiness - MN 122

Offline swampflower

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 05:15:41 pm »
There are many levels of suffering from very obvious to very subtle.
The Buddha has a cure for them all.
 :r4wheel: :r4wheel: :r4wheel:
Om Tare Tutare Svaha

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become." Buddha Sakyamuni

Offline Optimus Prime

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 05:01:27 pm »
A simple, yet effective way of looking at the 4 Noble Truths is to split it into 2 pairs:
-  The first 2 Truths bind.
-  The second 2 Truths unbind.

What do they bind and unbind?  The heart, i.e., the true mind, the Buddha nature.

Ajahn Maha Boowa explains:
They open up the things that cover it so as to reveal its purity in line with its truth. 

-  Its truth is already there, but the 2 truths of dukkha and its origin keep it concealed, just as the lid of a pot conceals whatever is in the pot so that we can't see it.
-  The path - the practice - opens it.  The path and the cessation of dukkha open the pot so that we can see clearly what's inside.

Even though the purity is already there, it's concealed by the first 2 Truths and revealed by the truths that unbind.  This is what is bound, this is what is revealed.  Once revealed, there are no more problems.

Both pairs of truths are activities.  Both are conventional realities.
-  Dukkha and the origin of dukkha are conventional realities.
-  The path and the cessation of dukkha are also conventional realities. 
Once they have performed their duties, they pass.

Once the 2 conventional realities remedy the 2 conventional realities, that pure nature is a nature that stays fixed.


Source:
http://forestdhamma.org/book/11/Straight%20From%20the%20Heart/12.pdf

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2011, 05:37:47 am »
For me,  there is a departure here from the diagnostic approach and, instead, a more 'cosmic' approach. More closer to the 2nd characteristic (dukkha lakana) than the 1st noble truth (dukkha ariya sacca).

Are these 2 really different though?

Spiny

Offline TongueTied

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 09:56:47 am »
I think it's safe to say that they are not substantially different.   :socool:

Offline Disney Land

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2011, 06:11:01 pm »
It is about Truth of Suffering and the Truth of the Way to the Cessation of Suffering or liberation from suffering. For instance, the Pureland path, is also about the liberation of suffering through the remembrance of the Buddha name that resonating inherent merits / blessings, in which, it directly reconciled with the Four Noble Truth.
n Elder Master once said:
Those who skillfully discourse on Mind and Self-Nature surely can never reject Cause and Effect; those who believe deeply in Cause and Effect naturally understand the Mind and Self-Nature in depth. This is a natural development.
If it were not for a period of penetrating cold, the plum blossom could never develop its exquisite perfume!

Offline LastLegend

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2011, 03:46:07 pm »
An elaboration from what Disney Land said

1)There is suffering
2)The cause of suffering
3)The answer is Pure Land (a place) instead of Nirvana (a place also)
4)Cultivate/practice Pure Land

Pure Land (Peace Land) versus Non-peaceful Land (universe)
(One created by Buddha versus the other by all sentient beings)
Beware of philosophies for the sake of knowledge without actual practice for these philosophies only increase the attachment of 'I.'-Te Cong

What is the definition/essence of meditation of all forms?-Te Cong

Thien la gi? Thien la roi phan biet chap truoc.- Lao Phap Su

You have the recipe. Now make the cake instead of thinking about cake.- La Tao Viec

Thuong Tru Tang Nhu Lai= Knowing the presence of Buddha.

Offline heybai

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Re: THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 08:28:25 am »
One doesn't have to understand the Pure Land to learn from the Four Noble Truths, however.  As Disney Land stated, this is the Pure Land path.  There are many paths and ways to apply the 4NT I would imagine. 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 08:30:53 am by Su Dongpo »

 


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