Friday, June 03, 2011

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu - Suffering and the Four Noble Truths

Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen

by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
compiled and ed. by John Shane


Dharma Quote of the Week

Suffering is something very concrete, which everyone knows and wants to avoid if possible, and the Buddha therefore began his teaching by talking about it in his famous formulation of the Four Noble Truths.

The first truth draws our attention to the fact that we suffer, pointing out the existence of the basic dissatisfaction inherent in our condition; the second truth explains the cause of dissatisfaction, which is the dualistic state and the unquenchable thirst (or desire) inherent in it: the subject reifies its objects and tries to grasp them by any means, and this thirst (or desire) in turn affirms and sustains the illusory existence of the subject as an entity separate from the integrated wholeness of the universe.

The third truth teaches that suffering will cease if dualism is overcome and reintegration achieved, so that we no longer feel separate from the plenitude of the universe. Finally, the fourth truth explains that there is a Path that leads to the cessation of suffering, which is the one described by the rest of the Buddhist teachings.

All the various traditions are agreed that this basic problem of suffering exists, but they have different methods of dealing with it to bring the individual back to the experience of primordial unity. (p.47)

--from The Crystal and the Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen, by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu, compiled and edited by John Shane, published by Snow Lion Publications

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