DWD Archive: The Four Noble Truths

John gives a Dharma talk on The Four Noble Truths from an early Buddhist perspective and from the perspective of Daoist internal alchemy.

Notes for The Four Noble Truths Episode

The three aspects: conceptual knowledge, practice, fruition

Suffering, suffering should be understood, suffering has been understood

Cause of suffering is craving, craving should be abandoned, craving has been abandoned

Cessation of suffering, cessation should be realized, cessation has been realized

Path to cessation of suffering, the path should be cultivated, that path has been cultivated


Three kinds of suffering: regular suffering, suffering due to change, suffering due to conditioned states

Consciousness feeding on the five aggregates, I-making and mine-making


The six links of dependent origination:

Body/mind, contact, sensation, craving, grasping, becoming


The three poisons of ignorance, craving, and aversion

Craving/aversion as the only link in the chain where a person has agency


The practice is to develop awareness of and equanimity towards body sensation in order to not be overwhelmed by and identified with a reactive emotion. Short term high, long term crash. Extractivism. Good in the beginning, middle, and end. Regeneration.  Example of Daoist alchemy. Small, medium, and large cessation


Eightfold Path: view, intention, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration

Threefold training: precepts, concentration, insight

Five precepts: no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false or harmful speech, no intoxicants


Right Effort: cultivate wholesome mental formations that are arising, bring up wholesome mental formations that are not arising, abandon unwholesome mental formations that have arisen, do not cultivate unwholesome mental formations that are not arising


Four Foundations of Mindfulness: body, sensation, mind, Dhamma. Three one structure. Body, breath, mind, Buddha Nature. Asana, pranayama, meditation, Samadhi. Jing, qi, shen, Dao.

Cultivate well being in body and mind, become sensitive to disturbance of body and mind, let go of disturbance, enjoy deeper well being of body and mind, become sensitive to disturbance, etc


The four jhanas.


The Four Fruits of Attainment: Stream Entry, Once Returner, Non-Returner, Arahat

The 10 Fetters Belief in rites and rituals, belief in self, doubt

Craving and aversion

Craving for subtle realm rebirth, I-making, ignorance


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