Category: Awake in the City

The First Buddhist Teaching: The Four Noble Truths

  By Daniel Scharpenburg The Four Noble Truths are the beginning of Buddhism. They are the first thing the Buddha taught, and sometimes we have to go back to these fundamental teachings over and over. I’m going to go through them one by one here. The Truth of Suffering As long as we’re living in delusion, our lives are full of suffering. If we examine our suffering deeply, we can see that in usually comes in three forms. The are usually called: Pain, Change, and Being. Pain: Pain is an inevitable part of life—not just physical pain, but emotional pain...

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Equanimity in Adversity: A Zen Story about Wild Horses

  By Daniel Scharpenburg There’s an old zen story I really like and I want to share it with you here. There is speculation that it’s a daoist story that the zennists appropriated, but for our purposes here that doesn’t matter very much. It’s about expectations and equanimity in the face of adversity. It’ll be obvious that it’s my re-telling and paraphrasing and not necessarily the most accurate version of the story. There was this poor old farmer. He had a single horse and a teenage son and one day his horse ran away. A bunch of neighbors came over to...

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