Further study – Mutually Sustaining Life


The Four Noble Truths

This Is the Origin, This Is the Cessation –selections from the Pali canon, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu   >>>

The Nobility of the Truths — Bikkhu Bodhi >>>

Buddha: The Great Physician — Norman Fischer >>>

The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination

The Buddha’s insight into the nature and process of suffering, dependent origination, teaches that everything arises in dependence on multiple causes and conditions. The twelve links within dependent origination lead from misunderstanding to suffering (dukkha), with each link conditioning the arising of the next. The Buddha’s teachings and practices can be seen as challenges to the forces of dependent origination.

The Twelve Links Explained — Joseph Goldstein >>>

12 Links >>>

Dependent Origination >>>

Dependent Arising — Bikkhu Analayo >>>

The Four Marks of Existence

The marks of existence describe the true nature of ourselves and everything we experience. According to Buddhism, understanding that all phenomena have these three characteristics is a vital step on the path to liberation from suffering. The three marks of existence are:

* Impermanence (Pali: annica)

The Buddha taught that all things disintegrate and so are impermanent. That is because all compounded phenomena are made of parts and inevitably fall apart. Another way to put it is that everything dies. Our denial of this reality is a fundamental cause of suffering.

* Suffering, or dissatisfaction (dukkha)

Every experience is marked by a quality of suffering or dissatisfaction, from extreme pain to a background sense of unease. Our struggle to maintain a sense of solid self marks our lives with stress and fear, and will always be unsuccessful because of truths of impermanence and non-self.

* No Self (annata)

Neither we nor anything else in reality has a solid, separate, and independent self. Everything is merely the product of infinite causes and conditions. While the truth of impermanence describes how things are, no self describes what they are not.

These marks of existence are interconnected and deeply woven into the teachings and practices of Buddhism. Recognizing these characteristics helps practitioners gain insight into the true nature of reality and develop a more skillful and compassionate approach to life.

The fourth mark, nirvana, describes the absolute state of ultimate peace that is free of all dualism and struggle. It marks all things because relative phenomena are not separate from the complete peace of nirvana.

(Note:you will find the marks or seals listed in different order in different teachings and presented in different language. Sometimes there are three, with nirvana not included as a “mark.” In Mutually Sustaining Life they are presented as:

The Four Seals of Dharma — Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche >>>

The Three Marks of Existence >>>

The Three Marks of Existence, Dependent Arising, and Emptiness >>>

Impermanence is Buddha Nature — Norman Fischer >>>

Impermanence — Bhante Gunaratana >>>

Subtle Impermanence — The Dalai Lama and Thubten Chodron >>>

Seeing Things As They Are >>>

The three marks of existence—impermanence, suffering, and no self—are the Buddha’s basic description of reality. The three doors of liberation is Thich Nhat Hanh’s teaching on how to transcend duality, the root of all suffering, by living in accord with these truths.

 The Doors of Liberation   >>> 

The Life of the Buddha

  • Buddha (From the Dharmarmanet course An Introduction to Buddhism Through Jodo Shinshu):

  •    The Historical Buddha

  •     Birth >>>   

  •    Search for meaning >>>

  •    Enlightenment. >>>

  •    Death >>>

Life of Shakyamuni Buddha Part 1 – Birth through Homeleaving >>>

Life of Shakyamuni Buddha Part 2 – Before and After Enlightenment >>>

A Sketch of the Buddha’s Life – Readings from the Pali Canon >>>


Rest Your Weary Mind – Joseph Goldstein [a Dharmanet course] >>>

One Tool Among Many – The Place of Vipassana in Buddhist PracticeThanissaro Bhikkhu >>>

The Language We Use to Talk about Meditative Experiences — Jason Stiff >>>

Zen Meditation [a Dharmanet course] >>>

Chan Buddhism [a Dharmanet course] >>>\

Taming the Mind [a Dharmanet course] >>>

Jodo Shinshu (Shin)

A Primer of Shin Buddhism — John Paraskevopoulos & George Gatenby >>>

Shin: An Introduction to Buddhism Through Jodo Shinshu [a Dharmanet course] >>>

Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu — New York Buddhist Church >>>

Engaged Buddhism

The Challenge of Mindful 2 Engagement — David R. Loy >>>

The Wheel of Engaged Buddhism [a Dharmanet course] >>>

Green Dharma [a Dharmanet course] >>>

Buddhism and Science

Science through Buddhist Eyes — Martin. Verhoeven >>>

Is Buddhism the Most Science-Friendly Religion? >>>

The Scientific Buddha — Donald Lopez >>>