The very first teaching the Buddha gave after reaching enlightenment was on the Four Noble Truths—four things seen to be true by those with higher insight—and the very first of these was the truth of suffering. Basically: everybody suffers. And despite the fact that everybody has been suffering essentially forever, very few people have figured out how best to deal with and overcome it. Fortunately for us, the Buddha was one of these, and his methods for understanding and transcending suffering have passed down over the millennia since they were given in an unbroken lineage that has ensured their purity and efficacy. One of the contemporary enlightened masters to receive this lineage is our own spiritual guide, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, and he has explained some of the techniques for dealing with suffering in his book Transforming Problems into Happiness
In his foreword to this book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "I believe that the purpose of our lives is to achieve happiness. But happiness is of two kinds: one that derives from physical comfort and the other which essentially flows from our minds and thoughts. Of these two, the happiness that derives from the mind is the more important.... The importance of our mental experience gives rise to the question, 'Can we train the mind?' The Buddha explained many methods and paths by which we can purify our minds and achieve the fully awakened state of buddhahood. Among these there is a special instruction called mind training. This instruction outlines the very heart of the Buddhist practice, cultivation of the awakening mind."
In this five-week series we will be looking at these special teachings and trying to understand how to apply them in our daily lives.
ALL WELCOME TO JOIN THIS CLASS! Week 1 of 5
Dr. Nicholas Ribush, MB, BS, is a graduate of Melbourne University Medical School (1964) who first encountered Buddhism at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, in 1972. Since then he has been a student of Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa Rinpoche and a full time worker for their international organization, the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Dr. Nick is the Founding Director of Kurukulla Center and current Director of the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive.
NOTE: In response to COVID-19 we will be holding virtual classroom teachings until further notice.
To access the Virtual Classroom join the Zoom Meeting on your cell phone (iPhone and Android devices) or computer:
Zoom URL: https://zoom.us/j/783128631?pwd=YU1yY2dka0tOemsxRzhZMVo1TTZhUT09
Or, dial in on any phone:
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Enter the Meeting ID when prompted: 783 128 631
Enter the Meeting Passcode when prompted: 694463
If you’re asked for a Participant ID, just press #