In this class we will explore The Four Truths, the first teaching by the Buddha, using the three wisdoms of study, contemplation, and meditation.
Questions we will consider: What is suffering? What does it mean to “know" suffering? How do we create our own suffering and what can we do to alleviate it? We will apply these questions to our everyday lives. Practitioners of all levels are welcome.
The Four Truths is called a Hinayana (foundational) teaching and is the basis of all our teachings: Mahayana, and Vajrayana. As Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche writes: “Many of the other factors that affect our journey are determined by how well we lay the foundation of the Hinayana path.”
The Buddha’s first teaching was truly a momentous event, worthy of great celebration. One of the sutras, entitled The Play in Full, describes the setting for this teaching: “… the earth gods now formed a great circle around the Thus-Gone One…It was enormous with a circumference of seven hundred miles, and the gods adorned the sky above it with parasols, victory flags, banners, and canopies.”
We will look at the Four Truths both from a firmly rooted Kagyu tradition, as described by Jamgon Kongtrul, and from the perspectives of more contemporary teachers.