The Four Noble Truths
The Venerable Ajahn Sumedho
Amaravati Publications 1992
Amaravati Publications
Amaravati Buddhist Centre
Great Gaddesden
Hemel Hempstead
Hertfordshire HP1 2 BZ
England


Preface and Introduction
 
 

The First Noble Truth


Suffering and self-view
Denial of suffering
Morality and compassion
To investigate suffering
Pleasure and displeasure
Insight in situations
 
 

The Second Noble Truth


Three kinds of desire
Grasping is suffering
Letting go
Accomplishment
 
 

The Third Noble Truth


The truth of impermanence
Mortality and cessation
Allowing things to arise
Realisation
 
 

The Fourth Noble Truth


Right Understanding
Right Aspiration
Right Speech,
Right Action, Right Livelihood
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration
Aspects of meditation
Rationality and emotion
Things as they are
Harmony
The Eightfold Path as a reflective teaching
 



 
A Handful of Leaves



The Blessed One was once living at Kosambi in a wood of simsapa trees. He picked up a few leaves in his hand, and he asked the bhikkhus, ‘How do you conceive this, bhikkhus, which is more, the few leaves that I have picked up in my hand or those on the trees in the wood?

‘The leaves that the Blessed One has picked up in his hand are few, Lord; those in the wood are far more.’

‘So too, bhikkhus, the things that I have known by direct knowledge are more; the things that I have told you are only a few.  Why have I not told them? Because they bring no benefit, no advancement in the Holy Life, and because they do not lead to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not told them.  And what have I told you? This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

That is what I have told you. Why have I told it? Because it brings benefit, and advancement in the Holy Life, and because it leads to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. So bhikkhus, let your task be this: This is suffering, this is the origin of suffering, this is the cessation of suffering, this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ [Samyutta Nikaya, LVI, 31].
 
 
 

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