Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Statement of Faith

The state of Texas has requested a "statement of faith" in confirming tax exempt status. It occurred to me that you might like to know how I responded.

Statement of Faith

“Our Statement of Faith” is based on the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths. These are not articles of belief or doctrine, but experiential truths to be verified by each person through inquiry and practice.

The Four Noble Truths

The first noble truth is the truth of dukkha. It means that affliction or suffering is a fact of all human life.

The second noble truth is the truth of samudaya. It means that together with affliction, thirst or longing arises.

The third noble truth is the truth of nirodha. It means that whatever arises can be contained, and that this containment is essential to healthy living. Note that nirodha does not mean either suppression nor mindless venting; in its original usage the term referred to banking a fire, so that its energy can be used in safe and healthy ways.

The fourth noble truth is the truth of marga. It describes the path or characteristics of healthy living. The eight characteristics of the path suggest a life lived in alignment with reality; the term “right” here means just that: congruent with truth. Marga consists of right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right meditation.

We are indebted to Michael Brazier’s The Feeling Buddha for this presentation of the four noble truths.


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