Tashi Tsering. The Four Noble Truths: The Foundation of Buddhist Thought, Volume 1. Ed. by Gordon McDougall. Foreword by Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2005. Paperback, xvi + 168 pp.
The four noble truths are fundamental to all forms of Buddhism:
The noble truth of the existence of suffering.
- The noble truth of the origin or cause of suffering.
- The noble truth of the cessation of suffering.
- The noble truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering.
The present book by Geshe Tashi Tsering, the resident teacher at Jamyang Buddhist Centre in London, is possibly one of the finest expositions of this all-important aspect of Buddhist doctrine.
What makes this book special is that Geshe-la wrote it from the vantage-point of teaching Westerners over many years and encountering their constant need for logical explanations couched in terms that they could understand.
Generally, people do not like to contemplate the fact that suffering is an integral aspect of life until it stares them in the face as a result of a major crisis, such as the loss of a loved one, serious illness, or their own imminent death. Yet our lives are wrapped in suffering, and the sooner we come to terms with this inescapable truth the better. But better still is finding the deepest available wisdom about the nature of suffering, its origin in ignorance, the possibility of overcoming suffering, and the Buddha’s noble eightfold path that was designed by him to lead to spiritual enlightenment, which is the true antidote to suffering.
Geshe Tashi Tsering’s book summarizes in simple, lucid, and very user-friendly terms the traditional teaching on the four noble truths and offers the kind of practical guidance that one would need to take the first step on the spiritual path. For those who are already on the way, the book is a timely reminder to maintain “beginner’s mind.”
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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