http://www.UrbanDharma.org ...Buddhism for Urban America


The Urban Dharma Newsletter... February 11, 2003


In This Issue:

1. Flapping flag
2. The Concept of Dukkha
...Teachings by Ajahn Sumedho
4. Temple/Center/Website- of the Week:
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
5. Book Review: The Four Noble Truths: Fundamentals of the Buddhist Teachings His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama ...
by Dalai Lama, Thupten Jinpa, Dominique Side


1. Flapping flag

Four monks were meditating in a monastery. All of a sudden the prayer flag on the roof started flapping.

The younger monk came out of his meditation and said:  "Flag is flapping"

A more experienced monk said: "Wind is flapping"

A third monk who had been there for more than 20 years said: "Mind is flapping."

The fourth monk who was the eldest said, visibly annoyed: "Mouths are flapping!"

2. The Concept of Dukkha

* http://vihara.freeyellow.com/page4.html

To understand the concept of Dukkha is very important if you want to understand the central teachings of Buddhism. The word Dukkha is not only keyword to the Four Noble Truths but to the other important teachings of the Buddha as well i.e. The Three Characteristics of the World (Ti-lakkana ) which is the Buddhist view of the this world and The Philosophy of Dependent Origination ( Paticca-samuppada ) which is the Buddhist understanding of how things work and relate to one another for their very existence.

So not understanding Dukkha in its true sense means not understanding Buddhism itself. As a result, you could be cherishing a pessimistic attitude, not just towards Buddhism but probably towards your own life as well.


Many translations of the word Dukkha into English have now been around for almost a century and a half since Buddhism was introduced to Europe. Dukkha has been translated into English as suffering , illness and unsatisfactoriness. I would like to say that none of these retains the true meaning of Dukkha but instead the word Dukkha covers all these meanings and more.

Actually, Dukkha embraces the whole of existence, whether sentient or non-sentient, animate or inanimate; happiness, suffering, like, or dislike, a pleasant or unpleasant condition or a neutral one, all come under Dukkha . Each of these is classified as Dukkha not necessarily because it is a kind of suffering as it is understood but simply because it is changing constantly, all the time, at any moment. All those things, happy or unhappy, they come and go, begin and end. The whole process of this world just operates in this way. For this very reason, they are Dukkha . The Buddha taught us in His First sermon in a very simple way: whatever is impermanent or changing, all that is Dukkha . (Yad aniccam tam Dukkham). Before he said so he observed the whole world and found nothing but a process of change. So changing means the world. The very characteristic of our existence that remains there all the time is but change whether for better or for worse.

We fall ill and we suffer. That is suffering and that suffering is Dukkha . It comes and goes. We enjoy good fortune and that fortune is not everlasting but will one day go. Human beings are born and will definitely die. That is Dukkha .

We get into a bus and sometimes we have to sit next to some one who appears to us very unpleasant. That is Dukkha . If you react to the situation by thinking, "Today I am very unlucky to be meeting such people, I am stupid to be here on this bus", then you are creating Dukkha . We meet someone somewhere in our life and at a certain point, we each have to go our own way. So we feel sad. That is Dukkha. If you do not try to experience the meeting or the departing mindfully, as it is, but reacting - again, you are creating Dukkha out of it. We want a Mercedes Benz car and we get it. We are happy but now people say a BMW, or a Rolls Royce is better, more luxurious. We are no longer content with our Mercedes Benz. This is Dukkha. We feel frustrated at work. This is Dukkha. We want a word of thanks from someone, from our boss, from our neighbours but we are criticised instead. Therefore, this is Dukkha. To get it is all right. An appreciation is good. But if that makes us get caught up in that sort of esteem then we cling to it. We keep expecting to it more and more. This is Dukkha .

We want our child to behave in a certain way but it turns out just the opposite. So we feel disappointed. Disappointment is again Dukkha. All these bear the nature of arising and falling away. They come and go.

In this world, we feel anxious, despairing, frustrated, irritated, upset, disappointed, discomfort, anguish, painful and disgusted. Therefore, these are Dukkha in their nature, not because the Buddha said they are Dukkha .

Sometimes we have a success and feel very satisfied with our own performance. However, this satisfaction itself is again Dukkha , simply because it does not stay forever. In a higher stage of meditation practice, you do not feel any mental annoyance at all. It is very calm and peaceful. It is called Sukha - happiness. Again, this happiness is Dukkha, not because it causes unhappiness or suffering at that moment but because it does not stay forever. It changes. It starts and finishes. So it is Dukkha . You see Dukkha does not cover only the negative side of life but the positive one as well.

Actually Dukkha , I emphasise again, means the world. I just cannot see anything, which is not Dukkha . Alternatively, to put it in a very simple way, all we experience is Dukkha - whether it is through eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind. To Buddhist analysis the world means only what we experience in our daily life through our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. We experience the so-called world through these six sense doors. It is all Dukkha because of its inability to be satisfactory.

What to do then? Dukkha ! Suffering! Oh no, I do not want that, nobody wants to hear it, it attracts no one to listen to it. We want to end Dukkha , which appears mostly in a painful manner in this world. Can we just ignore or run away to get rid of it? It will not work. The human habit is to ignore it because they do not want it. With the desire to end Dukkha , you may form a serious idea of getting away from it. The idea itself is all right. Nevertheless, once you are caught in that idea, then that clinging again becomes Dukkha. Without understanding, what we tend to do is to cling to that idea.

So what to do?

There are two things we can do; first is to recognise that there is Dukkha and then to try to understand the nature of Dukkha . It means to learn about it as it is, and try to experience it the way it is without reacting in a habitual way, without judging its value.

The Lord Buddha said there is Dukkha instead of saying I am suffering or you are suffering. Notice this. Dukkha is there, not personal, it is common to Asians and Europeans, to Burmese, Sri Lankan, British, American and others. Dukkha is experienced in the same way by a homeless person and by Queen Elizabeth. Being with someone you do not really like is felt in just the same way by anybody whether it is to Princess Diana or a poor woman. Separation is painfully experienced by anybody ... be it the first lady of Peru or a wife of an Unknown Soldier. Death brings painful experience to any one related to it. Mr. Onassis, the then richest man in the world found no relief over the death of his son. This kind of painful experience spares no one, rich or poor. You do not want to become old; neither do I. But this experience is just there as a fact.

The human experience is there. And Dukkha is there. It is the common bond that we all share.

What we have to do in this stage is, may I repeat again, to recognise that there is Dukkha. Dukkha is there but it needs recognition. It requires an acknowledgment. This is a starting point. From this, we can go on. The Lord Buddha spoke in a very clear and precise way. Dukkha must be understood, it must be penetrated (parinnyeya ).

To understand it we must first be aware of the facts on which our daily life is based. This awareness is called mindfulness or Sati. With mindfulness, your mind will become contemplative, receptive, and not impulsive, not rejecting. Then investigate the real nature of that fact. This is called investigation of nature = Dhamma vicaya. Both form factors of enlightenment ( Bojjhanga ). The remedy in Buddhism is the Noble Eightfold Path. Each of us has to walk on the Path on our own to get to our destination.(Paccattam veditabbo = the truth is understood individually , one of the six characteristics of the Buddha's teaching.)

To summarise my talk, the Lord Buddha said, "Look at the world as a pleasure, then as a danger and then there is liberation from that danger."( Assada , adinava , and nissarana ).With understanding of Dukkha, compassion starts growing in our heart. Suffering is the object of compassion.

May you all be happy !!

3. THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS ...Teachings by Ajahn Sumedho

* http://www.buddhanet.net/4noble.htm


What is the Noble Truth of Suffering? Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, sickness is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering: in short the five categories affected by clinging are suffering.

There is this Noble Truth of Suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

This Noble Truth must be penetrated by fully understanding suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

This Noble Truth has been penetrated by fully understanding suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

[Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11]

The First Noble Truth with its three aspects is: "There is suffering, dukkha. Dukkha should be understood. Dukkha has been understood."

This is a very skilful teaching because it is expressed in a simple formula which is easy to remember, and it also applies to everything that you can possibly experience or do or think concerning the past, the present or the future.

Suffering or dukkha is the common bond we all share. Everybody everywhere suffers. Human beings suffered in the past, in ancient India; they suffer in modern Britain; and in the future, human beings will also suffer. What do we have in common with Queen Elizabeth? - we suffer. With a tramp in Charing Cross, what do we have in common? - suffering. It includes all levels from the most privileged human beings to the most desperate and underprivileged ones, and all ranges in between. Everybody everywhere suffers. It is a bond we have with each other, something we all understand.

When we talk about our human suffering, it brings out our compassionate tendencies. But when we talk about our opinions, about what I think and what you think about politics and religion, then we can get into wars. I remember seeing a film in London about ten years ago. It tried to portray Russian people as human beings by showing Russian women with babies and Russian men taking their children out for picnics. At the time, this presentation of the Russian people was unusual because most of the propaganda of the West made them out to be titanic monsters or cold-hearted, reptilian people - and so you never thought of them as human beings. If you want to kill people, you have to make them out to be that way; you cannot very well kill somebody if you realise they suffer the way you do. You have to think that they are cold-hearted, immoral, worthless and bad, and that it is better to get rid of them. You have to think that they are evil and that it is good to get rid of evil. With this attitude, you might feel justified in bombing and machine-gunning them. If you keep in mind our common bond of suffering, that makes you quite incapable of doing those things.

The First Noble Truth is not a dismal metaphysical statement saying that everything is suffering. Notice that there is a difference between a metaphysical doctrine in which you are making a statement about The Absolute and a Noble Truth which is a reflection. A Noble Truth is a truth to reflect upon; it is not an absolute; it is not The Absolute. This is where Western people get very confused because they interpret this Noble Truth as a kind of metaphysical truth of Buddhism - but it was never meant to be that.

You can see that the First Noble Truth is not an absolute statement because of the Fourth Noble Truth, which is the way of non-suffering. You cannot have absolute suffering and then have a way out of it, can you? That doesn’t make sense. Yet some people will pick up on the First Noble Truth and say that the Buddha taught that everything is suffering.

The Pali word, dukkha, means "incapable of satisfying" or "not able to bear or withstand anything": always changing, incapable of truly fulfilling us or making us happy. The sensual world is like that, a vibration in nature. It would, in fact, be terrible if we did find satisfaction in the sensory world because then we wouldn’t search beyond it; we’d just be bound to it. However, as we awaken to this dukkha, we begin to find the way out so that we are no longer constantly trapped in sensory consciousness.


What is the Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering?

It is craving which renews being and is accompanied by relish and lust, relishing this and that: in other words, craving for sensual desires, craving for being, craving for non-being. But whereon does this craving arise and flourish? Wherever there is what seems lovable and gratifying, thereon it arises and flourishes.

There is this Noble Truth of the Origin of Suffering:such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

This Noble Truth must be penetrated to by abandoning the origin of suffering....

This Noble Truth has been penetrated to by abandoning the origin of suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

[Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11]

The Second Noble Truth with its three aspects is: ‘There is the origin of suffering, which is attachment to desire. Desire should be let go of. Desire has been let go of.’

The Second Noble Truth states that there is an origin of suffering and that the origin of suffering is attachment to the three kinds of desire: desire for sense pleasure (kama tanha), desire to become (bhava tanha) and desire to get rid of (vibhava tanha). This is the statement of the Second Noble Truth, the thesis, the pariyatti. This is what you contemplate: the origin of suffering is attachment to desire.


What is the Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering? It is the remainderless fading and cessation of that same craving; the rejecting, relinquishing, leaving and renouncing of it. But whereon is this craving abandoned and made to cease? Wherever there is what seems lovable and gratifying, thereon it is abandoned and made to cease.

There is this Noble Truth of the Cessation of Suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

This Noble Truth must be penetrated to by realising the Cessation of Suffering....

This Noble Truth has been penetrated to by realising the Cessation of Suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

[Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11]

The Third Noble Truth with its three aspects is: ‘There is the cessation of suffering, of dukkha. The cessation of dukkha should be realised. The cessation of dukkha has been realised.’

The whole aim of the Buddhist teaching is to develop the reflective mind in order to let go of delusions. The Four Noble Truths is a teaching about letting go by investigating or looking into - contemplating: ‘Why is it like this? Why is it this way?’ It is good to ponder over things like why monks shave their heads or why Buddha-rupas look the way they do. We contemplate...the mind is not forming an opinion about whether these are good, bad, useful or useless. The mind is actually opening and considering. ‘What does this mean? What do the monks represent? Why do they carry alms bowls? Why can’t they have money? Why can’t they grow their own food? We contemplate how this way of living has sustained the tradition and allowed it to be handed down from its original founder, Gotama the Buddha, to the present time.

We reflect as we see suffering; as we see the nature of desire; as we recognise that attachment to desire is suffering. These insights can only come through reflection; they cannot come through belief. You cannot make yourself believe or realise an insight as a wilful act; through really contemplating and pondering these truths, the insights come to you. They come only through the mind being open and receptive to the teaching - blind belief is certainly not advised or expected of anyone. Instead, the mind should be willing to be receptive, pondering and considering.

This mental state is very important - it is the way out of suffering. It is not the mind which has fixed views and prejudices and thinks it knows it all or which just takes what other people say as being the truth. It is the mind that is open to these Four Noble Truths and can reflect upon something that we can see within our own mind.

People rarely realise non-suffering because it takes a special kind of willingness in order to ponder and investigate and get beyond the gross and the obvious. It takes a willingness to actually look at your own reactions, to be able to see the attachments and to contemplate: ‘What does attachment feel like?’

For example, do you feel happy or liberated by being attached to desire? Is it uplifting or depressing? These questions are for you to investigate. If you find out that being attached to your desires is liberating, then do that. Attach to all your desires and see what the result is.

In my practice, I have seen that attachment to my desires is suffering. There is no doubt about that. I can see how much suffering in my life has been caused by attachments to material things, ideas, attitudes or fears. I can see all kinds of unnecessary misery that I have caused myself through attachment because I did not know any better. I was brought up in America - the land of freedom. It promises the right to be happy, but what it really offers is the right to be attached to everything. America encourages you to try to be as happy as you can by getting things. However, if you are working with the Four Noble Truths, attachment is to be understood and contemplated; then the insight into non-attachment arises. This is not an intellectual stand or a command from your brain saying that you should not be attached; it is just a natural insight into non-attachment or non-suffering.


What is the Noble Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering? It is the Noble Eightfold Path, that is to say: Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

There is this Noble Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before....

This Noble Truth must be penetrated to by cultivating the Path....

This Noble Truth has been penetrated to by cultivating the Path: such was the vision, insight, wisdom, knowing and light that arose in me about things not heard before.

[Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11]

The Fourth Noble Truth, like the first three, has three aspects. The first aspect is: ‘There is the Eightfold Path, the atthangika magga - the way out of suffering.’ It is also called the ariya magga, the Ariyan or Noble Path. The second aspect is: ‘This path should be developed.’ The final insight into arahantship is: ‘This path has been fully developed.’

The Eightfold Path is presented in a sequence: beginning with Right (or perfect) Understanding, samma ditthi, it goes to Right (or perfect) Intention or Aspiration, samma sankappa; these first two elements of the path are grouped together as Wisdom (panna). Moral commitment (sila) flows from panna; this covers Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood - also referred to as perfect speech, perfect action and perfect livelihood, samma vaca, samma kammanta and samma ajiva.

Then we have Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, samma vayama, samma sati and samma samadhi, which flow naturally from sila. These last three provide emotional balance. They are about the heart - the heart that is liberated from self-view and from selfishness. With Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, the heart is pure, free from taints and defilements. When the heart is pure, the mind is peaceful. Wisdom (panna), or Right Understanding and Right Aspiration, comes from a pure heart. This takes us back to where we started.

These, then, are the elements of the Eightfold Path, grouped in three sections:

1. Wisdom (panna)

Right Understanding (samma ditthi)

Right Aspiration (samma sankappa)

2. Morality (sila)

Right Speech (samma vaca)

Right Action (samma kammanta)

Right Livelihood (samma ajiva)

3. Concentration (samadhi)

Right Effort (samma vayama)

Right Mindfulness (samma sati)

Right Concentration (samma samadhi)

The fact that we list them in order does not mean that they happen in a linear way, in sequence - they arise together. We may talk about the Eightfold Path and say ‘First you have Right Understanding, then you have Right Aspiration, then....’ But actually, presented in this way, it simply teaches us to reflect upon the importance of taking responsibility for what we say and do in our lives.

4. Friends of Peace Pilgrim

* http://www.peacepilgrim.org/

Friends of Peace Pilgrim is a non-profit organization devoted to spreading Peace Pilgrim's message. In the tradition of her pilgrimage, all materials on this website are offered free of charge. Anyone working for peace, spiritual development, and the growth of human awareness has our willing permission to reprint non-copyrighted materials in whole or part.

Between 1953 and 1981 Peace Pilgrim walked more then 25,000 miles across the country spreading her message—This is the way of peace: "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." Carrying in her tunic pockets her only possessions, she vowed, "I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food."  She talked with people on dusty roads and city streets, to church, college, civic groups, on TV and radio, discussing peace within and without.

Her pilgrimage covered the entire peace picture: peace among nations, groups, individuals, and the very important inner peace—because that is where peace begins.

She believed that world peace would come when enough people attain inner peace. Her life and work showed that one person with inner peace can make a significant contribution to world peace.

On Foot and on Faith- One remarkable woman's 25,000 mile walk for peace. ...by Maggie Spilner

She didn't wear high-tech walking shoes, just plain canvas sneakers. She didn't sport a trade-name jacket or hat, just a simple navy blue tunic and pants. No organization sponsored her. No one followed her with a van to pick her up when she grew tired or when the weather turned foul. She traveled alone, on foot and on faith, with a singular purpose: to share her prescription for worldwide harmony. "Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. This is the way to peace," she told anyone who stopped to ask.

Her name was Mildred Norman Ryder, but she become known simply as Peace Pilgrim, the name that appeared on the front of her tunic. And the name captured her essence: She was a woman on a 25,000-mile walking pilgrimage for peace.

In the 1950's, long before T-shirts became billboards for personal politics, Peace Pilgrim knew that a few words, sewn to her tunic--"walking coast to coast for peace"--would be an effective way to share her message. But it wasn't her message that fascinated me at first; it was her medium. She was a phenomenal walker--in every sense of the word. Not only did she cover an amazing number of miles in her lifetime (well beyond the 25,000 she set out to do), but she was also vital, energetic and at peace with herself. (Not to mention that she amassed most of that mileage after her 50th birthday.) She was amazing. Inspiring. From the moment I heard of her, I wanted to know more. Here's what I learned.

A brief history of Peace

Peace Pilgrim's monumental trek across the United States began in 1953 at the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California. There, she handed out leaflets and gathered signatures for a Peace Petition, one that she delivered to the United Nations after walking coast to coast. Before her death in 1981, Peace crisscrossed the continent seven times on foot, stopping to talk to anyone intrigued by the message on her tunic.

Like some mystic Johnny Appleseed, Peace Pilgrim sowed the seeds of peace during conversations, college lectures, church services, radio programs, and TV interviews. She covered, as she was known to say, "the whole peace picture: peace among nations, peace among groups, peace among people, and, most important, inner peace." Not a new message, she willingly, acknowledged. But one that she felt America needed.

The more I heard about Peace Pilgrim, the more compelled I felt to read about her. And the more I read, the harder it was to believe she actually existed. Yet there were thousands of newspaper clippings that vouched for her reality, Still, the scenario was an unlikely one: Imagine an ordinary woman, hair already turned silver, setting off on a twentieth-century pilgrimage on foot (in America, no less--land of the car), without a penny in her pocket.

Day in, day out, Peace Pilgrim wore the same outfit, regardless of the season, washing her garments in rest rooms and letting them air-dry on her body. (She claimed that, over the years, her system adapted so that she easily adjusted to temperature changes.) She ate only when food was offered and slept wherever she found herself, which was often in an open field. And she carried only what she could fit into the pockets of her tunic: a comb, a folding toothbrush, her mail, a pen, a map, and, later, copies of her booklet, "Steps Toward Inner Peace," which she left with folks along the way.

Peace Talks

Once I'd read of her journey and her lifestyle, I became curious about her message, too--and about the enthusiasm with which she delivered it. As I watched tapes of her college lectures, I was struck by how much they seemed like mini-plays rather than speeches. In them, she waved her arms and raised her eyes to the heavens, her long slender fingers pointing and clasping to punctuate her message. It was clear: She was talking from her heart. There wasn't a trace of judgment or criticism in her words or her manner. And she was having a heck of a good time.

No question could throw her off course. No intellectualization dampened her enthusiasm. She had found inner peace and she wanted to "shout it from the rooftops." And, essentially, she did. "Only as we become peaceful will we be finding ourselves living in a more peaceful world," she'd say.

To small towns and large cities alike, Peace Pilgrim brought ideas that today are the topics of endless books on self-improvement and spiritual development. "Problems are opportunities in disguise" and "inner peace is where peace begins" were just two of her mantras. At the time, what she said was radical. And yet she was so compelling--and she so obviously lived by her beliefs--that thousands of people took her into their hearts and even into their homes. Soon her difficulty wasn't waiting to be offered food and shelter, but finding a way to graciously refuse. Peace Pilgrim had come so far--literally and figuratively--that I couldn't help but wonder where she'd begun.

Peace's First Steps

Walking played an integral part in the "creation" of Peace Pilgrim. During what she called her 15-year "preparation period," she spent time every day walking and drawing inspiration from nature. Neither highly educated nor an avid reader, Peace (then known simply as Mildred) claimed to receive insights as she walked.

She worked to put those insights into practice in her life, and she suggested that others do the same. "From the beauties of nature, you get your inspiration. From the silent receptiveness, you get your meditation. From the walking, you get not only exercise, but deep breathing--all in one lovely experience," she said.

In 1952, a year before her first pilgrimage, Peace walked the entire Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia--a distance of over 2,000 miles. It taught her the necessity of traveling light. "I lived out-of-doors completely, supplied with only one pair of slacks and shorts, one blouse and sweater, a lightweight blanket, and two double plastic sheets into which I sometimes stuffed leaves," she said. "I was not completely dry and warm, but I enjoyed it thoroughly!" she said. It was toward the end of that expedition, after walking all night, that she experienced the vision for her first pilgrimage across the country.

Talking More, Walking Less

In 1964, when Peace had completed 25,000 miles, she decided that was enough. It was time to stop counting. She had walked the highways because it was easier to chart her progress, but it wasn't the best way to meet people and share her message. Now she was ready to walk through the towns that the highways passed by. There, she'd find the listeners she sought.

Along with her change in route came a change in priorities. . .from walking to speaking. She booked engagements across the country. She even began to accept rides so she could fit in as many speeches as possible, although she always returned to walking when time allowed. And as Peace's focus turned toward the spoken word, it turned toward the written word, too. On her journeys, she wrote to thousands of people she had met and counseled; and to share her thoughts with her friends, she wrote a newsletter called Peace Pilgrim's Progress.

Although Peace claimed people should never look for results from their efforts, she did live to see a shift in the world culture of the 1960s--a shift away from the belief that war is the answer to conflict. Before the `70's dawned, she saw the fear and apathy of the McCarthy Era replaced with fervent demonstrations for peace. She saw people who'd had little interest in spiritual growth become hungry for the kind of message she sought to deliver. This peace-loving trend grew stronger through the 1980's and, thanks to folks like her, still lives on.

Of course, every pilgrimage must come to an end. On July 7, 1981, Peace Pilgrim was, ironically, killed in a car accident while being driven to a speaking engagement. She left no more written material than her newsletters and the booklet "Steps Toward Inner Peace." When her thousands of followers heard the news, they joined in spirit to mourn her passing. But I suspect that Peace herself would have told them to save their tears. In her own words: "The body is just a garment. Death is a glorious transition to a freer life." In death, Peace Pilgrim was free. But her message lives on in my heart. . . and now, I hope yours, too.

Reprinted by permission of Walking Fit Magazine, Copyright 1997 Rodale Press, Inc. All rights reserved

5. The Four Noble Truths: Fundamentals of the Buddhist Teachings His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama ...by Dalai Lama, Thupten Jinpa, Dominique Side

* http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0722535503/wwwkusalaorg-20/


Life involves suffering. Desire is the source of our suffering. There is a way to put an end to our desire. The way out of desire is to live one's life according to eight basic principles. These four noble truths were the subject of the Buddha's first sermon and form the core of Buddhist teaching. The Dalai Lama describes these unique teachings here as he presented them to the West for the first time in 1997.

Amazon.com Reviewer: A reader from Sevierville, TN United States... In this small book His Holiness the Dalai Lama presents a completely comprehensive, easy to understand explanation and discussion on The Four Noble Truths, which are the foundation of the Buddhist teaching. Yet the book transcends religious beliefs and is actually a book on living happily and peacefully no matter what one's beliefs are. This book, therefore, is for anyone and everyone who is interested in living a more peaceful life. His Holiness explains the most complex issues of human existence in a form that is so simple anyone can understand. He readily gives examples and compassionately faces all alternative arguments to the issues. Everything makes sense. He includes a complete glossary and recommendations for further reading. The last chapter focuses on compassion, complementing the teaching on The Four Noble Truths, and beautifully illustrates how the teachings can be applied to daily life. One completes the reading with no unanswered questions and a profound feeling of peace. It is an inspiring, uplifting, informative little book that will be read over and over again.


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