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  Week Two – Overview

This week we begin by examining the first and second noble truths: suffering and craving. We investigate how and why stress and dissatisfaction occur by examining the ways we either try to maintain or reject the inevitably changing circumstances of our lives. Next we examine the third noble truth of cessation, a deep and profound truth that teaches us that release from a stressful cycle is possible. Finally, we explore the eightfold path, the Buddha’s “prescription” for liberation, reflecting on each of the eight and how they fit into the framework of the three trainings of ethics, meditation, and wisdom. This week also introduces the Nagara Sutta, or “The Discourse of the City,” in which the Buddha describes the fourth noble truth as an “ancient path, rediscovered.”

This week you will

  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the four noble truths
  • Develop ways of understanding how suffering, or unease, occurs
  • Cultivate insight into patterns of craving that cause dissatisfaction in your own life