By – Staff Reporter
Rejoicing in the Buddha’s first teaching, when he set the wheel of Dharma in motion.
All merit created on this day is multiplied 100,000 times.
“The essence of the Buddha’s teachings is expressed in the Four Noble Truths. By understanding them, we’ll enter the path to liberation and enlightenment.” Ven. Thubten Chodron, Taming the Mind
With these words, Abbey founder and abbess Venerable Thubten Chodron sums up the significance of the Buddha’s fundamental first teaching when he explained the Four Truths of the Aryas, beings who have broken through innate ignorance to see reality as it is.
Thes four are also well known as the Four Noble Truths.
If we understand even a little why this teaching is so precious, we’ll understand why we celebrate Wheel-Turning Day.
In Buddha’s first teaching he described the unsatisfactory nature of our lives and the causes of our suffering.
He also explained the possibility of freedom from these sufferings and the paths to bring it about.
These Four Truths of the Aryas give us encouragement, hope, and inspiration.
In her book, Open Heart, Clear Mind, Venerable Chodron quotes Juan Mascano, Spanish academic and educator, lecturer at Cambridge University, who writes:
“The message of the Buddha is a message of joy. He found a treasure and he wants us to follow the path that leads us to the treasure. He tells man that he is in deep darkness, but he also tells him that there is a path that leads to light. He wants us to arise from a life of dreams into a higher life where man loves and does not hate, where man helps and does not hurt.
“His appeal is universal, because he appeals to reason and to the universal in us all: ‘It is you who must make the effort. The Great of the past only show the way.’ He achieved a superior harmony of vision and wisdom by placing spiritual truth to the crucial test of experience; and only experience can satisfy the mind of modern man. He wants us to watch and be awake, and he wants us to seek and to find.”
Thus we can see why Wheel Turning Day is a very auspicious occasion to engage in virtuous action!”
Learn more with these teachings
- The story of Wheel Turning Day – Short video talk with Venerable Thubten Chodron.
- The four truths of the aryas – Video teachins based on Approaching the Buddhist Path, the first book in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.
- The four truths – Video teaching based on the book Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature, the third volume in The Library of Wisdom and Compassion series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron:
- Four truths and three levels of practitioners – Video teaching based on Approaching the Buddhist Path, the first book in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.
- Find more ThubtenChodron.org.
Wheel-turning Day Practices
- Make special offerings to the Three Jewels on your altar.
- Early Wednesday morning, take the 8 Mahayana precepts for 24 hours where you especially refrain from negativities and distractions from the Dharma.
- Continue your morning practice with the Meditation on the Buddha. Listen as Ven. Chodron leads an extensive guided meditation on Shakyamuni Buddha. Or follow this step-by-step guide to the Abbey community’s full morning practice.
- You can also do the beautiful and inspiring Extensive Offering Practice..
- Make offerings to the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha in gratitude for the precious teachings.
- Make offerings to help those in need
- Go here to include the Abbey in your Wheel Turning Day offerings
- You could help Build the Hall on Wheel Turning Day, too.
- sourced – Sravasti Abbey