Reviewing the Third Noble Truth

This talk continues a review of the Four Noble Truths, with a focus on how the mind is liberated from dukkha through dissolving the potency of craving and clinging, the topic of the Second Noble Truth.  Various views relevant to the Third Noble Truth are described, such as sunnata, translated as emptiness, and anatta, the absence of an enduring/autonomous self, which is another way to understand sunnata.  Different approaches to the experience of Nibbana, the Unconditioned, are reviewed, either through cultivating highly developed levels of concentration called jhanas, or through what is called “dry vipassana”, insight into the nature of craving and clinging and either liberating the mind momentarily, through letting go, or ultimately, through realizing Nibbana.  The traditional Theravada understanding that four levels of experiencing Nibbana are required for total liberation is also reviewed.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing the Third Noble Truth

Next week’s talk will begin a step-by-step review of the Fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path.


Reviewing the Second Noble Truth

This talk continues a review of the Four Noble Truths, perhaps the most fundamental and universally accepted Buddhist teaching.  The characteristics of the Second Noble Truth, craving (tanha) and clinging (upadana) are reviewed regarding traditional understandings as well as more contemporary Buddhist scholarship and neuropsychological research which supports the traditional teaching.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing the Second Noble Truth

This talk is complemented with an .mp3 recording titled “Guided Second Noble Truth Contemplation”, that preceded this talk and is posted in the Guided Meditation page of this website’s archives.

The focus for the next talk will continue the review of the Four Noble Truths, addressing the Third Noble Truth, liberation from dukkha.


Guided Second Noble Truth Contemplation

This guided meditation brings mindful investigation to the experience of craving and clinging.  During the meditation you are invited to also mindfully investigate the absence of craving and clinging, as well as the transitory nature of all subjective experience.  This contemplation is intended to complement the Dharma talk entitled “Reviewing the Second Noble Truth”, which was recorded the same evening, May 4, 2022 and is archived on this website.


Reviewing the First Noble Truth

This talk reviews the characteristics of dukkha, traditionally translated to mean suffering or dissatisfaction.  The Buddha is understood to have described his mission to be understanding the nature of dukkha and the ways and means for overcoming it.  The three varieties of dukkha are described as well as ways skillful application of mindfulness, investigation and Right Effort will interrupt self-state organizations afflicted by dukkha.  The review also provides descriptions of three stages to be cultivated for providing relief from dukkha: conceptual understanding, skillful awareness & discipline, and finally direct realization of liberation.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  Reviewing the First Noble Truth

Here is the URL for a guided contemplation of dukkha found in the archives of this website:

The topic for next week’s review is the Second Noble Truth, the cause of dukkha.


The First Teaching of the Buddha

This talk is the first of several that reviews what is considered to the be the first teaching of the Buddha after his Awakening.  The historical context of the teaching is reviewed as developing during a time of significant cultural transformation, on a much less impactful level than what is occurring in today’s world.  Using quotes from the discourse as reference, the values established by this first development of what would become known as Buddhism are discussed.  A key progression of the discourse describes how the Four Noble Truths are to first be conceptually understood, then developed through meditation and integration into one’s lifestyle, and then ultimately establishing liberation from dukkha.  The Four Truths and their value for adapting to the significant personal and sociocultural changes that confront humanity on into the future will be reviewed in greater depth during the upcoming series of talks, with extended emphasis on the the Fourth Noble Truth, the Noble Eightfold Path.

Here are the notes prepared for this talk:  THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS CONCEPT

The focus for the next talk will be on the First Noble Truth, Dukkha, the distress and confusion that permeates every person’s life.


Will Lindemann’s Retreat Report

This talk provides an opportunity for Will to review his most recent 10-day retreat experience, the third of three Zoom retreats organized and led by Analayo, a German Theravaden monk who is both a well respected contemporary scholar and accomplished meditator.  Will reviews the theme of the three retreats, the first of which was themed around an important book by Analayo: “Satipatthana–The Direct Path to Realization”; the second involved “Mindfulness of Breathing”, and the third “Compassion and Emptiness in Early Buddhist Meditation”.  Will’s talk was accompanied by several questions and appreciative comments provided by those attending, either in person or via Zoom.

Here is a .pdf copy of the first book:  Analayo_Satipatthana-The-Direct-Path-to-Realization.  The other two books are not currently available in a free .pdf format, but can be ordered through the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies ( or Amazon.  There is an additional book by the same author of practical interest as a support for deepening practice as well:  “Satipatthana Meditation–A Practice Guide” that can be acquired through the same sources.

The meeting next week will begin an extensive review of what is arguably the most basic conceptual discourse of Theravaden Buddhism, traditionally considered to be the first teaching of the Buddha after his Awakening:  “The Turning of the Wheel of Truth”.  The typical way it is described is as “The Four Noble Truths”.  The talk will provide an historical and conceptual review of the discourse, with the intention to provide a view of the teaching that is relevant to contemporary life and liberation from distress and confusion.  Subsequent talks will systematically review the four conceptual truths of the discourse.