The First Noble Truth and Stress

The Buddhist First Noble Truth, the reality of dukkha, was described in contemporary terms.  The traditional translation of dukkha is “suffering”; modern commentators prefer words such as “stress”, “insufficiency”, and “dissatisfaction”, among others, to describe current cultural experience.  Peter talked of the increasingly stressful characteristic of modern cultures, with the imposed stressors of consumerism and media indoctrination, and the impact stress has on the human body/mind process.  This was related to the Five Hindrances, with emphasis on the hindrance of restlessness/worry.

The ways and means that Buddhism provides relief from contemporary stress was described, followed by lively discussion of what this means to those attending the meeting.

Here are the notes prepared for this presentation:  STRESS AND THE DHAMMA   The notes provide data on the prevalence and impact on contemporary society as a result of stress, derived from the National Institute for Mental Health, a governmental organization.

Next week’s topic will address the issues associated with anxiety, from a Buddhist perspective as well as various levels of clinical anxiety disorders.

Dukkha Is Stress

This recording introduces a new topic for ongoing discussion and application.  The typical translation of dukkha has been “suffering”; many modern students of Buddhism prefer the term “stress” as being more appropriate for our culture.  During the talk, Peter described the psychological and biological aspects of stress, the cultural values that produce stress and the prevalence of current stress and stress-related physical, interpersonal and psychological problems recently discovered by researchers.

Following this post the notes prepared for the presentation will be posted.

Over the next several meetings the various manifestations of stress will be explored from psychological and Buddhist perspectives.  Next week’s discussion will describe anxiety in the culture, reviewing the characteristics of anxiety, what happens to a person suffering from anxiety, and what Buddhism has to offer as a factor for alleviating anxiety.