Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Three Jewels and The Four Noble Truths

For our next series of dharma talks in class, we have been contemplating the teachings of the Buddha.  We have begun by studying and applying the teachings of the Three Jewels and the Four Noble Truths.

We have been reading from Thich Nhat Hanh's books:  The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation and Peace is Every Step

The Three Jewels:

Buddha  (teacher)
Dharma  (teachings, path of practice)
Sangha  (community of support)

The Four Noble Truths:

We will experience suffering in this life.
There are root causes to our suffering.
It is possible to end our suffering.
There is a way to end our suffering: The Noble Eightfold Path.

Frank Boccio, in his book Mindfulness Yoga, draws a parallel of The Four Noble Truths to the Ayurvedic approach to wellness: (1) diagnosis, (2) etiology, (3) prognosis, and (4) prescription. This may help us to remember them if this way of thinking or terminology comes more naturally.

The Noble Eightfold Path:

Right View
Right Thinking
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Diligence
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

We have been singing a mindfulness song in the Plum Village tradition:

Breathing In, Breathing Out
Breathing In, Breathing Out
I am blooming as a flower
I am fresh as the dew
I am solid as a mountain
I am firm as the earth
I am free

Breathing In, Breathing Out
Breathing In, Breathing Out
I am water reflecting
What is real, What is true
And I feel there is space
Deep inside of me
I am free, I am free, I am free

More commentary to follow on these teachings.  This is the basic outline of our current curriculum.

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