August 7, 2006

“The Four Noble Truths”

The Foundation of
Buddhist Thought
by Geshe Tashi Tsering

Publisher Comments:
The Four Noble Truths provides a strong step toward a solid foundation in Buddhist thought. This volume is the first of six, and offers a complete presentation of the Buddha's seminal Four Noble Truths which summarize the fundamentals of the Buddhist worldview. Indeed, they are an essential framework for understanding all of the other teachings of the Buddha. The Four Noble Truths explores central tenants of Buddhist philosophy in direct, non-sectarian approach, interweaving the insights of the Theravadan and Mahayana views (Buddhism's two major streams). This unique book was developed by Geshe Tashi Tsering, a Tibetan scholar renowned for his ability to render Buddhist teachings accessible and relevant to everyday life.

Memorable Quotes:
The best way to take refuge in the dharma is to put the path into practice. And so we go from taking refuge in the sangha to 'becoming' the sangha.

Nirvana is simply the cessation of suffering, not the annihilation of the person.

...peace arises from chaos, cessation of suffering arises from suffering, and nirvana arises from samsara.

“Ethical conduct is not something we engage in because it is somehow right in itself but because, like ourselves, all others desire happiness and to avoid suffering.” H.H. Dalai Lama

Understanding our minds, we can slowly learn to lessen the effect that unwanted emotions have on them. And through constant effort, we can avoid falling prey to strong emotions that lead to great suffering.

Our basic composition is imperfect, so how can we expect perfect happiness?

Although other people may contribute to our problems, the main cause is internal.

Realizing that 'this' problem is only temporary, like all things, and it will too will pass, gives us more space to find ways to resolve it.