The four truths

03 Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Is there an end to the self?
  • Nirvana without remainder
  • Mind continues eternally
  • Mind of an arhat, a bodhisattva and a Buddha
  • Nature of the four truths
  • Duhkha and origins to be abandoned, cessation and path to be adopted
  • Polluted body and mind
  • Afflictions and polluted karma
  • What is ignorance?
  • Exhaustion of duhkha and origins
  • True paths are cosciousnesses

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 03: The Four Truths (download)

Contemplation points

  1. Spend time thinking how your mind is the continuum of clarity and awareness. Think about your own mind how it works/function. Consider: Everything that is produced arises from causes; nothing can arise causelessly. Causes are impermanent; they must cease in order for their result to arise. There is concordance between a cause and its result. A specific result can only arise from the causes and conditions that are capable of producing it.
  2. What is samsara? What are the five aggregates and how do they relate to samsara?
  3. What are the Four Truths of Aryas? Why are they called this?
  4. Explain the roles of ignorance and craving in causing true duhkha?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.