The tag line of this book is "Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation." In Part I, the author writes about the Four Noble Truths. The F...moreThe tag line of this book is "Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation." In Part I, the author writes about the Four Noble Truths. The First Noble Truth is Suffering (dukkha), the recognition that suffering is ever-present in our lives. The Second Noble Truth is the origin, roots, nature, creation, or arising (samudaya) of suffering. The Third Noble Truth is the cessation of suffering, which is achieved by refraining from doing the things that cause us to suffer. The Fourth Noble Truth is the path (marga) that leads to the cessation of suffering. The Path is titled 'The Noble Eightfold Path," which consists of Right View, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Diligence, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Lessons that I find memorable from this book include the objective that Buddhist teachings are meant to awaken our true self, not necessarily to add to our knowledge base. I especially appreciate that the Buddha taught the truth of suffering, but also the truth of the value of dwelling happily in things as they are (drishta dharma sukha viharin). In order to succeed in this practice, we must stop trying to prove that everything is suffering, but rather we must touch the truth of suffering with our mindfulness. This will enable us to recognize and identify our specific suffering, its specific causes, and the way to remove those causes and end our suffering. The author devotes one chapter to each of the steps in the Eightfold Path, and discusses other basic Buddhist teaching in the second half of the book, including The Two Truths (relative or worldly truth), The Five Aggregates (form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness), and the 12 links of Interdependent Co-Arising.
Note: The foreign terms used above and in this book are Pali or Sanskrit. (less)