Translator: Thubten Jinpa
The Four Noble Truths
The XIV Dalai Lama
In July of 1996, his Holiness the Dalai Lama spent two days lecturing in London on the Four Noble Truths, which he believes are essential to understanding Buddhist ideals. This was the first time the Dalai Lama had taught in the western world and at London's Barbicon Hall, the Dalai Lama described to the audience the truth of suffering, the truth of the origin of suffering, the truth of the cessation of suffering and the truth of the path leading to this cessation. These Four Noble Truths are well known among followers of Buddhism as the first sermon the Buddha gave after he was enlightened.
The Dalai Lama speaks in English for most of the six-hour lecture. As he delves into the finer points of Tibetan philosophy, he turns to his native language and speaks through a translator. His intellect and scholarship shine as he refers often to Buddhist scriptures and commentaries and his mischievous sense of humor and inspiring compassion are very much in evidence.
Each lecture is placed in context by Tibetan Buddhism scholar Robert Thurman. The session concludes with a question-and-answer period, again in English, in which the Dalai Lama giggles over the Western interest in finding the "quickest, cheapest, and most efficient" way to enlightenment.
One is invited in this lecture series to spend a few intimate hours with the Dalai Lama, always "an ennobling experience."
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