November 13, 2022


The Four Noble Truths | Ajahn Brahm

The Four Noble Truths | Ajahn Brahm
Ajahn Brahm Podcast
The Four Noble Truths | Ajahn Brahm

Nov 13 2022 | 00:51:00


Show Notes

Life can be full of pain and sadness, but understanding the cause of these things can help you to cope better. The Four Noble Truths teach us about the causes of suffering, the way to end it, and how to get out of it. If you want to achieve enlightenment, follow the path of the Noble Eightfold Path. Suffering is a result of misunderstanding life, expecting things in life to be different than they are. When something difficult happens in life, we may feel lost, helpless, and unsuccessful. However, by understanding and experiencing life, we can learn to reality and accept it. The third noble truth is that we can be content and blissful in meditation and therein find the end of suffering. The path to the end of suffering is being a good person and understanding impermanence.

This dhamma talk was originally recorded on cassette tape on 3rd July 1998. It has now been remastered but the quality is still a bit scratchy. But the content is classic Ajahn Brahm and will be of interest to his many fans.

These talks by Ajahn Brahm have been recorded and made available for free distribution by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. You can support the Buddhist Society of Western Australia by pledging your support via their Patreon page.

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Episode Transcript

AB19980703_FourNobleTruths Summary Life can be full of pain and sadness, but understanding the cause of these things can help you to cope better. The Four Noble Truths teach us about the causes of suffering, the way to end it, and how to get out of it. If you want to achieve enlightenment, follow the path of the Noble Eightfold Path. Suffering is a result of misunderstanding life, expecting things in life to be different than they are. When something difficult happens in life, we may feel lost, helpless, and unsuccessful. However, by understanding and experiencing life, we can learn to reality and accept it. The third noble truth is that we can be content and blissful in meditation and therein find the end of suffering. The path to the end of suffering is being a good person and understanding impermanence. Transcription 0:01 Many ways we can talk about this for Noble Truth. The reason why I'm giving a talk on the subject today is simply to follow a long tradition of 25 centuries, because next Wednesday, the full moon Day, is the anniversary ministry of the time when the Buddha gave his first heating after his enlightenment, which many of your traditional Buddhists would know was it appraised called Sanat? Just outside of Banaras, two, five former friends who are following the homeless life. And the first thought which he gave was on the subject of the Four Noble Truths. That particular talk which he gave were to people who've been meditating for a long time, people who already abandoned many of the attachments, such as family and belongings. So the talk which the Buddha gave on occasion was very strong, very deep, and very far reaching. In fact, it did cause one of the listeners to gain the first stage of enlightenment. And that teaching became the core teaching of Buddhism, of all types of Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths. This evening, because of the occasion very close to the full moon anniversary, when the Lord Buddha first gave his talk, it seems appropriate to weave this talk this evening around the Four Noble Truths. First of all, just to say what these Four Noble Truths are. And then I'm going to adapt to our experience of everyday life in order for us to have some understanding of what life truly is, what we can expect from it, and how to deal with it, so that we don't get either disappointed, disillusioned, frustrated, and have all of the suffering which these emotions bring to us. In fact, the pornography truths are about suffering, about the experience of human life, especially the unpleasant part of human life. The Buddha says the first Noble Truth is suffering. He taught why we suffer a cause, and then he declared that there is an end, there is a way out of this suffering. The Fourth Noble Truth was teaching the way, teaching the method, the path, what you have to do to get out of suffering. And those particular format was very deep. And it's very true to say that all the teachings of Buddha are about those Four Noble Truths in all sorts of different ways. This evening, even I've given talk on Four Noble Truths many times before. Each one will be following a different aspect of this, sometimes during the week and on a Friday evening on the weekend. But I have to deal with people who come because of some type of suffering. People usually come and speak to the monks, not when they're having a good time, but when there's a problem, when they're going through some sort of difficulty in their life. And so you do hear and see much of the suffering which is there in life. And sometimes people come and ask why. Why is it that my daughter died when she was so young? Why is it that my wife died, even though we've been married for so long? Why is it that we've parted? The separation of divorce has happened. Why is it that I've lost my job? Why is it like it cancer? I was reading in one book not so long ago, there was a woman who was 96 years of age who went into hospital. She's been healthy all her life and the doctors diagnosed her as having cancer. And her response was, Why me? 96 years of age. It's a showing that people don't understand something very important these poor, noble truths. Because as human beings, we live under an illusion, a misconception, a wrong idea. And that wrong idea is that this human existence what we call life as a man or as a woman in Australia or in wherever, we think that life should be happy and only happy. And when something goes wrong, we think it shouldn't have gone wrong. We want to blame something or someone. And very often who we blame is ourselves. We feel guilty. We feel sad about something, basically, which we have no control. Hover. So often people feel guilty when something goes wrong. When somebody dies, we think if only I did this. If only I took them to the doctor. If only I encourage them to give up smoking, to have more exercise, to take more rest. We always feel guilty. When you lose a job, you think if only I'd work harder, I should have known. Or if it's a separation in your life a loved one, a husband, a wife or just a partner believes you. We think I should have done better. So often isn't it the case we blame ourselves? This is not understanding life. Sometimes it's good to look upon this human life like a school. In school, it's not fun otherwise. If it was fun, you wouldn't need to have holidays. Today is the end of the school term, isn't it? The school was really fun. The kids will want to go there on Saturday and Sunday as well. How many children volunteer to go on Saturday and Sunday and during holiday times? But we go to school. Why? To learn. And this is like life. We're in this life. And how do we learn? We learn from our mistakes. And what we really learn from is from suffering. Suffering. Whenever we hurt, physically or mentally, it shows that there's some mistake we've made, as it were. We've misunderstood something, we got something wrong. This is where we learn. And in fact, without pain and suffering, we would learn precious little. When we understand that life will have some suffering, life will have some things happen to us which we don't like, which we don't want. We understand. It's the same as at school. It's. We get lessons when we don't really want them. We have homework where we'd rather watch a TV. We have to do these things because we know that it's in our long term interest. However, some kids at school are very slow learners. Be slow learner. You have to keep on doing the year again and again and again. Some people grade one and they fail. They have to do grade one all over again and all over again and all over again. Sometimes people live their human life and they still don't learn. And so they have to do it all over again. All over again. All over again. In the many cycles of Reaper, the many lives you live until you really learn this human life, it's meaning, its purpose for us to learn. What sort of things do we learn? We learn just this for noble truth what is suffering? And the end of suffering is happiness. Very few people know what happiness is. People think that happiness is going out to the casino, going and watching the World Cup football. How many millions of people in the last couple of weeks have been watching soccer if you're not soccer AFL or tennis or whatever else? I used to be stupid like that. But I used to follow a team which always lost and out of despair I became a monk. There wasn't any joking there. I noticed that whenever there was a competition that there may be 30 or 40 teams playing and only one team would go home happy and everyone one else would suffer for weeks, for months they get depressed. And the one team which went home happy after one or two days, they forgot about it all. So you got something like the World Cup and how many teams are playing? So there's like 30 teams playing. 29 of those are going to go back to their countries suffering. And all the people in those countries are going to suffer. One team is going to win, and for one or two days they're going to be happy. And afterwards they're going to suffer. Why do they suffer? Because as soon as you win, you'd have to win again. That's the suffering. You have to keep up your reputation. People don't know what happiness is. If I know what happiness is, I've often said it notes to some of the people, I want to start a Buddhist football team. The Buddhist football team. We know what happiness is. If the opposition wants to score a go, we give them the ball, compassion. And if they can't do themselves, it's scored the own goal for them. But much more fun that way. Because he's winning fun? Or is there something else which is fun? Now, what we're saying here is that in life we have all these experiences to learn from. It's got more serious, like things which really hurt people are usually like deaths of loved ones because people can grieve for a long time or sort of separations. When you have a partner you love very much and they leave you for one reason or another. When your kids are in trouble these are the things which really hurt. Sometimes people mention the word suffering. People always think of like physical pain. But mental pain is far greater than any physical pain. Just recently in January, February I went to visit India, the holy places there. But also on the trip we had walk around some of the poor areas of bananas and there he saw some terrible things. You know, things which you never ever see in Australia. You see like lepers real ones who no one was looking after because they were wearing rags the sort of things which you wouldn't even put in your dustin. They were so bad and they had sauce you could see the of the weeping sores from their bodies. They had no home to go to. They had slept out in the streets. And this is like India. It's not very healthy. But of those people who are physically so poor and suffering with illness of those people who never committed suicide or killed themselves. But I've known quite a few people here. Australians, healthy, rich, young, with so many things before them with no physical athlete. We've committed suicide. We've hung themselves in a park, overdosed on drugs. Deliberately have killed themselves. They've. The mental suffering of those people has been so great they could stand it no longer. It's very rare that physical suffering gets to that degree. Mental suffering often reaches to the limit where you can tolerate it no longer and people decide to take to our life. When we're talking about suffering sheer pain, what occurs in your mind, which no one else can see, is far greater than the pain in the body, no matter how great that is. Because of that, we understand that these experiences of life which give us despair, that's when we see the nittygritty of suffering, where does that actually come from? It comes from not understanding the thing we call life. Cause we expect what life can never give. That's why we get despondent. We expect when we fall in love with another person that this love will last forever. And we meet the partner, which we really love. We say, Darling, I'm going to love you forever and ever and ever. If you're a Buddhist for many, many life claims and we actually think that at a time. But what's the truth? Whatever comes together one day must pass. We never think that we even think, let alone other people. We even think that we are going to last forever. How many people think they're going to die tonight? You know, sometimes I look around here and I count the people. I said this before. Maybe there's 250 people here, 300 people. According to statistics, at least three or four of you will die within the next six months. Which three or four are they? Which ones are they the fan of? You know, the old ones, young ones die as well. Are you ready? The thing is, we don't expect it to do it. Even though statistics, science, logic, reason tell us that we must die sometimes, we don't accept it. We put our heads in the sand. We think that life is going to go on forever. We think that our partners are going to always be there, our children always going to be there that life is fun and when it's otherwise, we think something's gone wrong. One who is wise I've said this before is something ever? If you ever get sick, there's a death or a tragedy if you ever say come up to me and say I don't blame something has gone terribly wrong straight away I say you're not understanding the truth. Some has gone right. This is nature. If you ever go to the doctor and say something's wrong with me you don't understand Buddhism. When you go the doctor and you had feeling terrible some makes me doctor, I'm feeling terrible today. Something's right with me, doctor. I've got the flu. Something's right with me, doctor. So I'm about to die. Very strange. In fact, wrong. If you're always healthy and live forever and ever and ever and ever, that be really weird. When we understand what life is not shocked when life just does its thing, when somebody dies, we understand this is life. We come into this world according to our karma, our past actions and some of those past actions which we cannot see, they work out their rules and their laws. Sometimes we die young. Sometimes we die old. Sometimes we die after a very lovely life. Sometimes after a very difficult life. This is life. But the point is, once we accept life, once we understand it, or rather, once we experience life, we have to understand it. Once we understand it, we can accept it and learn to live with it. Once we know what's going on, We can adapt to life. We can adapt what we want. You know, like this. I say mentally there's often a war going on inside each one of you. It's the war between the way life is and the way way we want it to be. We always struggle so hard to make the world conform to the way we want it to be. I want to be liked. I want to have my loved ones around me. I want never to have a death. I don't want any rain when we're having a range of treat ceremony on Sunday. I want everything to be in just right. I want all my newsletter articles to be on in time. Anything like this. We want all these things to happen, but what actually happens? The newsletter articles are in late. It rains when I don't want it to rain. People say the wrong things, the company goes bankrupt, the stock market crashes, our team loses the competition. Welcome to real life. We learn from suffering. In Buddhism, when someone comes up to me and they say they've got a terrible problem, I give them only a little bit of sympathy. Because if you just give them too much sympathy, you're not really helping them. Instead of saying oh, poor thing, sorry. It's terrible that years you've had. Instead of just saying that, I say, what are you doing about it? Because just getting sorrowful about the sufferings in life is not practicing the four noble truths. There is a way out. That way out comes through understanding and learning about suffering. I give a simile many often to people. It's been a long time, I think, since I given this Simile. In the public talk, simile is a truckload of dung. In the simile. It's as if you come to a place like this and have a lovely evening. Or maybe you go out, have a meal in some lovely restaurant. You go back home feeling so happy and related. And you find right in front of your front door, of your house, of your beautiful house in your garden, someone has dumped a truckload of dung and it's smelly. There's two things about that truckload of dung. The first thing is you didn't order it. The second thing is no one saw it coming. So you can't tell anyone to take it away. You're stuck with it. I think that those of you know this. Simile no. The truckload of dung stands for the suffering which we all experience from time to time in life. And to us it appears that we didn't order this. The separation we have to endure, the death of a loved one, the failure in an exam or some sickness which comes to us, some disappointments in life. We think, why me? I didn't order this. Why did it happen to me? That's the first thing. The second thing is we can't get anyone to take it away. Somebody's dead. We want them to come back to life again. It cannot happen. We want. We come to a monk or to a priest or a counselor, or just to a good friend. We want them to take away our pain. No one can take it away for you. You're stuck with it. Now with a track mode of dan. In assembly, there's two things which people do. First thing they do is they put bits of dung in their pockets, in their bags, up their shirts, and they carry around with them. You find if you carry around gun, you lose a lot of friends. What that means is if you get negative, angry, guilty about what's happened to you, blaming life, blaming yourself, blaming something, feeling sorry for yourself about the suffering which happens in life. Isn't it so that after a while people don't want to be with you? No one likes to be with someone who is suffering. You want to be with someone who's smiling, who's happy. Everyone likes to be with happy people. No one likes to be with Sarpusses. Now that's one way of dealing with done. The other way with dealing with dung is a wise way. Dung is fertilizer. You get your wheelbarrow and spade, put all the dung in the wheelbarrow and take it around the back and dig it in. Dig it into your garden. Maybe you can only manage one wheelbarrow a day, but you have the endurance and patience, because the only thing you can do with that to dig it all in and one day it happens that all the dung has gone. You plug it all in and around the back in your garden. You've got this amazing garden there. The flowers are just so fragrant that they can smell all down the street. And if you've got fruit trees there, the fruit is just so delicious, so succulent, that when you to give it to all your neighbors, instead of sort of accepting it grudgingly like they usually do, they can't wait to accept the beautiful fruit from your garden in that. Similarly, you go the beautiful flowers compassion. Beautiful fruits of wisdom, understanding. Because if life experiences which are difficult, whether it's a separation, a death, a disappointment, an addiction, if you've really been there and gone through it and learned to dig in all that suffering into your garden, then you really know. You understand what it's like and also how to get through it. And you've got the garden in the back to prove it then you can really help other people. Then you really can be compassionate to others because you can talk to them and you can truly say I know how you feel. How many times people when you've been suffering, people say, I know how you feel. And you know they're lying. They're just trying to be kind. When someone comes and they really do know. How much they can help you. They've dug in, that done. They've worked with it, they've learned from it, they've understood it. They become wise from it. They've used suffering. These are beautiful people in life. The wise ones, the truly compassionate ones. Anyone who understands that simile, the truckload of Dunk. Next time a truck comes up and dumps, it's done. Whoopi. It's a more dung in my life to learn from. I can make an even greater garden in the back. Whenever there's a disappointment, suffering, you know how to use it. Because those trucks are going to come sooner or later to everyone's house and they just dump, dump, dump. When we learn how to when we learn from these things, it's amazing. They stop dumping. When you've learned your lesson, when you've learnt about life, when you learn about suffering and how to deal with it, It's as if the lesson is over. You graduate. What's the purpose of a school anyway? It's to get out of there, to pass the exams and to graduate. The purpose of life is to learn about life. To learn enough to understand fully what this human existence is like. So you don't have to come back again to graduate from this school. However, that people sometimes are very silly and stupid. Lord Buddha gave the symbiote once of different types of horses. Some horses, when they're getting trained, the horse rider has to have a little whip or a bit of a stick. Some horses are so smart, even when the shadow of the whip falls across their body, they do exactly what they're told. Some horses are not so smart that we just tap very lightly once and then they do the right. Some horses are even more stupid, just have to be whack once. Then they learn. Some horses are so stupid whack, whack, whack, and they still don't learn. Which force are you? How many times do we have to experience these things before you truly understand what the problem is? How many times do you have to go to a funeral of your loved ones? How many times do you have to cry before you understand what life is all about? Death happens at any time. Separation happens at any time. And basically it's not your fault. You can't do anything about it. It goes according to nature. This is life. One of the stories I tell at funerals. It's a beautiful story. This monk who was staying in the forest there's a storm in the forest he was staying in. He was afraid of his life. In the morning he went outside. Many trees have fallen down almost flat his hat with him inside of it. But fortunately they didn't. He noticed. On the ground of the forest were many leaves torn from the tree by the fierce winds the night before. The leaves which you saw on the forest floor were mostly old brown leaves. Amongst those old brown leaves were a few yellow leaves. There were even some green leaves, but only very few. He looked even closer and there were one or two fresh green leaves which would have only sprouted the day before, torn by the wind off the tree. He looked up up to see what leaves were left. What do you expect? Mostly green leaves. But even though young fresh green leaves had been torn off, there were still a few old ground curly leaves still clinging on. And he thought, this is exactly the same as human beings. Even though when winds, the wind of death takes many people, it does usually take the old brown leaves. But also it takes some young people as well. You see that even though young people die, there's still some old, brown, curly people still clinging on. 18, 9100 and ten. After he understood what was going on. He never, never thought after that something's gone wrong. When young green leaves get torn off, leaving old brown leaves still clinging on that he thought, this is just nature. This is nature's way. Basically. You can do nothing about it except to be at peace and understand it's a waste of time fighting, complaining, crying at something which you can never change. The Buddha said the second noble truth is that craving, unwise craving, craving for things which you can never have, isn't that suffering? We want something which life can never give us. We want to live forever. We want it always to be sunny. We want our team to always win. We never want to see them. We never want to see disappointment. We want life to go just our way. That sort of craving, it's senseless, it's stupidity. Life will never be like that. It's can never give you that. This is why people suffer. Because they don't understand what life can give you. It's like a person joining the army. If you join the army, you're going to get shot at. That's what it's like being in an army. Like a person going to the casino. You go to the casino, you can only lose. It's obvious because think of all the people have to be paid to keep that pace going. Where does it come from? It comes from all the people losing. There he goes to the casino. You're going to lose. If you join a competition, the chances of you winning are very small. Understand the odds, know the laws of the game and then you will never complain. As a soldier, if you get shot, if you take human life, you're going to get old and you're going to die. That's part of the course. So if a soldier complained, why am I getting shot? If you go to work, it's. Why do they pay you anywhere when you go to work? It's a bribe, isn't it? To get you to work? No one likes working. So if you complain about work, then you're not understanding what work is all about. But once you understand what life can give you, once you understand the course of the problem is misunderstanding, then you understand that a lot of suffering can be let go of by flowing with life rather than trying to make it something it can never be. That's the same with you trying to make yourself something you can't be, rather than at least learn to accept yourself as you are. There you find a greater sense of peace and happiness. And happiness the opposite of suffering. At some time in our lives sometimes in our life, we're we do experience moments of happiness. What are those moments of happiness? It's very interesting to actually observe experiential. Other people say happiness, but what you experience as happiness well, the happiest experiences of your life so far. Sometimes people say that falling is in love is happy and happiness. Why do they say that? A lot of times it's because there is at least a semblance of selflessness in falling in love with another person. For a while, anyway. You don't think of yourselves, but you're thinking of somebody else. But that sort of romantic life is very complex and complicated. But if it really was true love if you really were thinking of the other person, you'd be happy. If the other person was going out with somebody else, they're happy. But that's not real selfless love, is it? Sometimes selfish love is for parents or for children. That somebody wants I can say this myself. It might shock you, but it's really true. Some of the happiest moments of my life when I was young, before I was a monk, occurred. I gotta be honest about this. Some of the happiest moments of my life, if I was a monk, was in the arms of another the arms of another man's wife is my mother, right? Yeah, sure. That's a baby. I think I read that in the Reader's Digest. You try that out on your fence tonight when you go back in the arms of another man's wife. My mum. Anyway, the love towards children or towards parents and that's getting much more selfless than the love towards a spouse or a mate. And it's interesting, isn't it lovely? Your partner to your husband or your wife. Now, that does change. But your love towards your children, it's amazing. No matter what your child does, things which you wouldn't tolerate in your husband, your child can do, and you still love them. Things you will never tolerate in your wife, your daughter can do, and they're still your daughter, and you're always welcome them home. That's a love which is much stronger and deeper, much more selfless. And very often people find a lot of happiness in their children, in their grandchildren, or even in their parents. Why is that a type of happiness? And again, I've already mentioned them at the major word the selflessness of it. When you don't desire anything for yourself, you just want to give to somebody else. Here we're starting to learn about this third noble truth the opposite suffering. One of the reasons why people are really so stressed out in this world and why they sometimes get so depressed is because they think about themselves too much. Social service, going out, doing something for the community. Whether it's a Buddhist society, the Salvos, other people's home, visiting, hospices are doing something for society is a marvelous source of happiness, selflessness. It's not just to young kids, it's to other people. It's widening that experience of love. It's not what I want, it's what they want. Not selfish craving, but selfless work for the community. Those people who can do a lot of that will find immense happiness and tell a story. As a student, even though as a student working quite hard, once a week, I used to go to a hospital for mentally disabled people just for an afternoon. He used to work there and for two years, just helping out in different ways. It's a very great learning for me to be able to, as a heterosexual young man, being able to learn to be hugged by other men. They were mentally unstable. They saw you coming and they recognized you, and their emotions were just out of control and they just came and just gave you a big hug. They're happy to see you. According to English society, in those days, that was really a no no. And I learned a lot from those people. Those friends, I would call them. They did happen. I do my final examinations coming up in a couple of weeks. They gave me a presentation, and it was just so moving, because I almost cried. I think I actually did shed a tear there. And they said that of all the students who have come here to do some help, they told me that I've been here the longest and the most consistent, coming every week, no matter what happened. And they gave me a little presentation. It was just so moving. But what was really moving was at the end, I said, well, thanks very much. But even though the final examinations next week, they don't start till the day after next Wednesday, when I went, Can I come next week, please? Can I please come? And even though was the day before doing the examinations, I really wanted to go. It wasn't service for me. It was like happiness. I enjoyed going out there. They really made me sort of think afterwards, what did they get out of that? Now? I got a lot of happiness out of not thinking about what I wanted to do that day, of doing something for somebody else, giving myself completely to somebody else, to others. Purdising selfless compassion is starting to understand what happiness is. But even more than selfless compassion, I found that in meditation, with even deeper levels of happiness, why is it that people come here, spend Friday evening just sitting quietly, crowned, into this little room? Why is it people carry on meditating? It's because when you do get into peaceful meditation, there's a beautiful sense happiness set. And the deeper you get into meditation, the more that happiness blossoms. Why? Why is there happiness into sitting here just watching the present moment and saying nothing? As a young man, I would have thought this is most boring way to spend an evening. You know, some people actually come to our modesty for the holidays and they tell their friends, when you spend your holidays, was it Barley? Was it going to Disney World or Club Med? That's actually a type of Club Med club. Meditation, a boat and going to monastery. And so I went to the monastery for the weekend. What did you go there for? You some sort of religious nut? They said, no, go there because it's happiness. What do you mean happiness? What do you do there? Just go and watch the TV or have games or have parties? Clean? No, I used to go and teach up at the prison. One of the prison officers took me back, gave me a ride back and said, but I always wanted to ask you guys, because he passes the monastery every day, what do you guys do up there? He said, do you have any women? Now, come on. He said no, no, no. We said, do you have any alcohol? No, no. Don't have any alcohol. And I can't figure out what do you do, any television? What do you guys do up there? We meditate. And he got really interested when I said that meditation is much happier than all those other things. And each one of you have actually touched that sort of happiness. Why is that happy? Because you're letting go of a lot of suffering when you're meditating to get really peaceful. What's the secret? No desire. That's the secret of meditation. Not wanting to go here, not wanting to go there. Being so desirous for this few moments you can't even say anything. Completely content. Desireless. The more desireless you can be in your meditation. The happier you are. Even suffering, wanting something else, wanting to be somewhere else, wanting this moment to be different and actually is. In meditation, you're just happy for this moment to be just as it is. The more content you can be, the more blissed out you become. There. You're learning about the third noble truth. How about what is the end of suffering? The path to the end of suffering? I've already told you. Sometimes people think you have to keep morality in virtue so you can go to heaven when you die, or they do. As long as in public, you keep your morality vertebra and no one's watching. You can promise me. Hey. Sometimes people do that. There's no speed cameras on the road. They feel they can speed if no one's looking. They can misbehave. That's why some people, they go on these diets when they're back in the bedroom they stop all this chocolate in their mouth because no one can see them. But look, it's all of this virtue, morality it's done for the sake of happiness. So look at the walmarts that we give up sex, we give up alcohol, we give up TV, we give up going to entertainment. When I first heard about all these things as a monk I thought these monks must be really sort of unhappy, stuffed up, just really mentally incompetent and all these other things. When I first heard about all these rules as a monk when I first saw my monk, the first monk I saw, I was amazed how hang I can't believe how can you be so happy? But all these things which life says is happiness the freedom to travel, to have money, to have relationships, to have a family, to have a TV and a CD. You don't have any of these things for how can you be happy? That really intrigued me. When I first saw my first night, they smiled a lot. How can you guys do that? You're supposed to be not enjoying yourselves. You don't have anything. Which of things we're enjoying? You can't go to rock concerts, you can't go and get drunk. I saw that there was another happiness. The first part of that happiness was a happiness of virtue. And certainly in my life I see that so clearly. If you live a good life, we don't harm or hurt other people. You don't lie, you don't steal, you don't say unkind words. You don't hurt your own body with alcohol or drugs. You don't kill or steal or hurt other beings at all. At the end of the day, you feel so happy about yourself. You feel free from any conscience about actions. And everyone does have a conscience. I found out in jail. All the prisoners, even the most hardened ones I knew when I went to jail very often to teach meditation in there. Even the most hard, tough guys would come up to me after I knew, not for a while, and say I felt terrible about what I've done. They wanted someone to tell that to. They couldn't tell it to the officers, they couldn't tell it to the prisoners. They couldn't sell it to anyone else because that's not the social system. That is not what you're supposed to do. You're supposed to be coughing down, you're supposed to be hard. It's only when you gain a person's confidence that they can show their real feelings. Most hardened business have those feelings, only they rarely showed them to anyone except people they could really, really trust. I was actually quite flattered. And Ireland, they could trust me. Everyone has that conscience. You have that conscience. If you've done something wrong, something which you know has hurt somebody else, you feel terrible about it. It hurts. If you're free from that immorality, that freed from that lack of kindness, that lack of virtue, the lack of goodness, if you're free of that, you feel a great happiness. Buddha called that the anawajasuka, the faultless happiness. You're finding one way of ending suffering. When you look at your life at the end of your life and you know you've lived a very good life, you've done your very best, you die so happily. You do go out to a heaven realm because you've lived good life. And that directly gives you happiness with the bad life. You've done something wrong you haven't asked your goodness for that really eats at you, causes you pain, suffering. That's the first part of the eight fold path. The way which leads out of suffering is being a good person, good for the sake of happiness here and now. Second part, the noble eightfold path is the meditation. Peace is great happiness. We have to spend a lot of our time working, doing things in the world. There comes a time at the end of the day we should find some peace at the end of the week, peace at the end of our life, some peace, and find that peace through meditation. To be able to let go of the past. You'll be able to be still, rest, take a break from doing things, and then you find enormous happiness. People ask me why I'm a monk? For the happiness of peace. Why are there so many monks that are monastery? 15 this year and two novices and one nun? Why are so many people there? Because they've enjoyed the happiness of peace. What they do all day day they just bliss out on peace. How much does it cost? Nothing. But the bad side effects. Nothing. In fact, the good side effects, which gives rise to the next part of the Apollo path wisdom. Because when your mind is very peaceful, you can see clearly. When you can see clearly, you understand what life is all about. You understand what life can give and what life can't give. You understand you're going to be successful for a while, but it won't last. Impermanence you can build a beautiful monastery. It won't last. You can have a nice healthy body, but it won't last. Get a nice talk, but it won't last. You don't expect it to last forever. So when it ends, we expected it. You're at peace and you never suffer. When you understand impermanence, when you understand not self, you're not in control of all this. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. Then you don't suffer. So this is four noble truths similarly of the truckload of Dan, the way of happiness, the way of suffering. Reflect on these teachings and you'll find they'll liberate you from so many difficulties and problems in life. And they'll lead, stage by stage, into deeper levels of happiness as you learn all the lessons of life. As you graduate. Through the school so you never have to come back to school again and do all this homework and always be sent to the headmaster for some sort of punishment when you don't understand what life is all about. So may all understand very quickly, be free from all suffering and bliss out and have a happy life. That's the last talk I'm going to give for wow. So, any questions about this evening talk on the Four Noble Truth? Okay, there we go.

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