Buddha's Teachings: The Four Noble Truths - There is Suffering
by Satya Katiza
Reality as it is: There is Suffering
Welcoming this new cycle of life, the ending of the old year and the beginning of the New Year, we would like to bring the light of the profound teachings of the Buddha to our Delight community.
May we all feel inspired in our hearts to receive this new decade 2020!
May we aspire to live and share our buddha nature in all moments of life for the benefit of all beings.
“Buddha” means “awakened one” and this term is not referring to a person somewhere in the past but to the potentiality of the clear and luminous nature of our own minds in this body. There have been many living Buddhas in the past and there are also many now, here on earth. The teachings that are mostly known as “Buddha’s teachings” relate to Gautama the Buddha. The first teachings that he transmitted from the embodiment of the awakened mind were the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path.
I feel happy and full of gratitude to be opening this cycle of teachings and share them with you. Because the buddha’s teachings are for me not only words or teachings, but they are a living reality. I was blessed to encounter the buddha in a very direct way at an early age when I encountered my own death in an accident. The body died (for a while) and “I” returned to the body. The “I” that returned awake to its true nature, I woke up to reality. After that, I had the clear knowledge that there is only a vast unending continuation of consciousness. The “I” as a separate self entity didn’t exist any more and there was neither death nor birth, the experience was clear and vivid. Existential fear didn't exist in “me”. My trust was a solid and unshakable feeling, this was the ground the “I” rested in and lived as a normal person. But I couldn’t share this feeling with others, so my search started, and I encountered very soon Buddha’s teachings in many ways. This encounter was like finding friends, family and community, it all made sense and was slowly integrated into life. My first realization was that there was suffering, and suffering was part of life, not something to fight against but to allow. Impermanence was part of reality and I had absolute peace with it. I wanted to share this with you because it is exactly here where the Buddha’s teachings start; as an answer, and as an antidote to the human condition of suffering.
Two thousand five hundred years ago, Gautama the Buddha, after 7 years of searching and living life renouncing the world, searched urgently to total exhaustion, for liberation (moksha). After great developments of powers and bliss, he was not satisfied. He could find no stable ground of continuation in his exalted states of consciousness. After extreme sadhanas, (spiritual practices), he decided to stop his search and not move or try anything anymore. His first realization was the middle path (meaning no extreme), was needed for a calm and stable mind. Then after this realization the decision to stay quiet and not move, to stop everything, he decided voluntarily to “die”, he stopped trying, stopped reacting and stopped modifying, and entered into meditation seated at the feet of the “bodhi tree”. With his back against the trunk of the tree, ( symbolizing the spinal cord or central channel), he attained and embodied the awakened mind. After this, he was called the “Buddha”. At first, he couldn’t speak, “how I will speak about this?”, he thought, “nobody will understand”. The first words that he found to speak were when he encountered his first disciples. These teachings are known as the 4 Noble Truths. The first noble truth is: “there is suffering”. Meaning the recognition of the condition all human beings encounter in life, the suffering of birth, the suffering of old age, the suffering of sickness, the suffering of death, the suffering of separation from loved ones, the suffering of facing unwanted phenomena, and the suffering of not getting what one is seeking. Like an expert scientist, he discovered and declared the first truth in the human condition: There is Suffering, saying and confirming this is "Reality", this is a condition of life and no one can escape from it.
Writing these words from my birth land Chile, in a time of so much uncertainty, political, social and environmental unrest worldwide, and also visiting my mom in her almost 88 years of life facing old age the inevitable change, Buddha’s teachings are a real reality now in my life. These situations are creating a moment to moment the perfect invitation and the need to recognize our human nature, and our buddha nature fully, and in all situations in life. We come to know and rest in the miracle of the impermanence of all phenomena and our awakened Buddha consciousness that is aware.
Full Moon December 2019
One who sees the Dharma sees me.
One who sees me sees the Dharma.
O wise men, just as a goldsmith would test his gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, so must you examine my words and accept them, not merely out of reverence for me.
My teaching is not a philosophy. It is the result of direct experience...
My teaching is a means of practice, not something to hold onto or worship.
My teaching is like a raft used to cross the river.
Only a fool would carry the raft around after he had already reached the other shore of liberation.
If you were to follow the Dharma purely out of love for me or because you respect me, I would not accept you as a disciple.
But if you follow the Dharma because you have yourself experienced its truth, because you understand and act accordingly - only under these conditions have you the right to call yourself a disciple.
Satya Katiza is a yogini in heart and soul. She is An experienced Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance (ERYT500-RYT 500) and licensed to certify students at the 200 & 500 hour levels.