“The Buddha’s message is a universal one. We all search for happiness but somehow fail to find it because we are looking for it in the wrong way. Only when we start cherishing others will true happiness grow within us. And so the Buddha’s essential teaching is one of compassion and ethics, combined with the wisdom that understands the nature of reality.The teachings of the Buddha contain everything needed to eliminate suffering and make life truly meaningful, and as such the teachings are not only relevant to today’s world, but vital.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Kay Cooper and Gordon McDougall will launch us into the study of Geshe Tashi’s wonderful course, The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, with the first module: The Four Noble Truths.
The Four Noble Truths Sutra provides and understanding of the relationship between two sets of events: causes and their effects. On one side we have suffering and problems, but these do not come from nowhere – they arise as a result of their own causes and conditions. On the other side we have happiness and fulfillment, which also arise from their own particular set of causes and conditions.
The teachings on the Four Noble Truths clearly distinguish the two sets of causes and effects: those causes which produce suffering and those which produce happiness. By showing us how to distinguish these in our own lives, the teachings aim at nothing less than to enable us to fulfill our deepest aspiration – to be happy and to overcome suffering.
“Just as the disease need be diagnosed, its cause eliminated, a healthy state achieved and the remedy implemented, so also should suffering, its causes, its cessation and the path be known, removed, attained and undertaken.”
The classes, each lasting two hours, will consist of a presentation of ideas, lively discussion and meditation. we will be basing the classes on the book, The Four Noble Truths, by Geshe Tashi. Students will need their own copy to read each chapter ahead of the class. We have a few for sale in our own bookshop.
This is a great opportunity to study this course, designed by Geshe Tashi, in the company of the editor of the books, Gordon McDougall, as well as Kay Cooper, one of the main tutors of the online version of the course. Don’t miss out!
N.B. If you want to study the Foundation of Buddhist Thought as a certificate course, there are details here.
In The Four Noble Truths, Geshe Tashi draws on his decades of training in Tibetan Buddhism to illuminate these truths for a modern audience. His respectful engagement with Buddhists outside his own tradition and his insights into Western culture make this book refreshing. It will reward even those already acquainted with the fundamentals of Buddhism.