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Robert Aitken

“The Buddha's original teaching is essentially a matter of four points -- the Four Noble Truths:

1. Anguish is everywhere.
2. We desire permanent existence of ourselves and for our loved ones, and we desire to prove ourselves independent of others and superior to them. These desires conflict with the way things are: nothing abides, and everything and everyone depends upon everything and everyone else. This conflict causes our anguish, and we project this anguish on those we meet.

3. Release from anguish comes with the personal acknowledgment and resolve: we are here together very briefly, so let us accept reality fully and take care of one another while we can.

4. This acknowledgement and resolve are realized by following the Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Thinking, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Recollection, and Right Meditation. Here "Right" means "correct" or "accurate" -- in keeping with the reality of impermanence and interdependence.”


Robert Aitken, The Dragon Who Never Sleeps: Verses for Zen Buddhist Practice
tags: buddhism, dharma
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