Four Truths, Tasks, or Vows

What are the Four Noble Truths? Buddhist practice epouses practice and insight, and yet the core teaching of the path is a short list of statements. How can we look at this teaching from another perspective? Perhaps the Truths are meant to be activity rather than philosophy.

This week Eric played a talk by Stephen Batchelor on the Four Noble Truths and how they are reflected in traditional vows taken by some monastic traditions.

The point is that each of these “truths” is something to be acted upon in a specific way. The point of the Dharma is not to persuade yourself that life is suffering… the point of the practice is to embrace suffering. It’s to fully know Dukkha… To say “yes” to the life situation that confronts you in this moment. These are tasks to be recognized, performed, and accomplished. They are not truths to be believed or disbelieved.

Stephen Batchelor

You may wish to examine this chart as a reference to the comparison of the Four Truths, the Four Tasks, and the Four Vows:

You can listen to Stephen’s talk here: