The Four Noble Truths & What Prompts Us to Embark on a Spiritual Journey?

This article discusses the book ‘The Four Noble Truths’ by Geshe Tashi Tsering (ISBN 9780861712700). You can learn about Geshe Tashi Tsering at geshetashi.org.

On pg.15 Geshe Tashi Tsering asks a question that we should have a good answer for:

What prompts us to embark on a spiritual journey? As we first become interested in Buddhism, I think this is a question we need to ask ourselves … We should try to understand our deepest motifivation clearly from the very beginning and not just accept intellectually we all want to be happy or because somebody like His Holiness says it, but only as a result of our own thorough investigation.

We would like to share a story from a writer at @HappyOps that is a round-about way of answering Geshe Tashi Tsering’s question:

I went along to a Buddhist group because I just wanted to learn meditation. I got a lot of benefit from simple mindfulness techniques that helped me to deal with stress and anxiety about work. I was interested in expanding my mind and achieving higher states of consciousness through meditation.

In the Buddhist group the teacher also spoke about the Dharma as well as teaching meditation techniques. I closed my eyes when the teacher spoke about the Dharma – I did not want to hear about it!! I kept going along and I found some parts of the Dharma teachings interesting but I was very confused by some subjects, like why weren’t we just studying the Buddha’s sutras? But then we studied the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ – a short text written by the Tibetan master Geshe Langri Thangpa.

Being ‘a good friend’ used to mean a great deal to me. This means having time for friends, looking out for my friends, being reliable and trustworthy for my circle of friends. The people that I cared about in my circle of friends was quite narrow. The teachings on ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ gave me a reason to expand the people that I cared about from my circle of friends to a circle as big as the Earth. The teachings also describe techniques on how to do that.

The ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ teaching was mind blowing. Since the consumerism and materialism popularised during the 1980’s, so many people seem to be so egotistical and out for themselves or out for their own immediate families. In the ‘Eight Verses for Training the Mind’ Geshe Langri Thangpa makes the switch from cherishing ourselves and serving our own needs to cherishing others. I found the contract was stunning, it was such a beautiful way of seeing the world. It was amazing to think that there are people around the world like Geshe Langri Thangpa who are developing their minds through the Dharma right now, to care so deeply about so many people!!

Enlightenment is a goal that I am committed to achieving. But right now I want to be a better person and develop my mind through the Dharma to care so deeply about so many people. Through the Dharma want to be happier each day of my life.

Teachings from @DalaiLama can be found here:

We would like to invite the reader to consider Geshe Tashi Tsering’s question and reach their own conclusion through their own thorough investigation.

Love, @HappyOps