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The attributes of the four truths

07 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.

  • How to apply the antidotes to the afflictions as a layperson
  • True cessation is attained by training the mind
  • How to engage with each truth
  • The result of each truth
  • The coarse and subtle four truths
  • Two ways to follow a tenet system
  • Questions on coarse and subtle selflessness
  • The 16 attributes of the four truths of the aryas
  • Four distorted conceptions

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature 07: The attributes of the four truths (download)

Contemplation points

  1. How are we to engage with each of the four truths? Why is the emptiness of how we engage with each truth important?
  2. What is included in true dukkha? What are its four attributes and what distorted conceptions do they counter? Spend some time with each of these pairs. Make some examples from your own experience of how you hold to the distorted conceptions.
  3. Do you have a feeling that you control your body and mind?
  4. What is a self-sufficient substantially existent person? How does it manifest in your life?
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.