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Friday, November 8, 2019

Suzuki mentions the Four Noble Truths

Do you notice anything in this listing of the Four Noble Truths by Suzuki?

***

Student: What are the Four Noble Truths?

SR: The Four Noble Truths are that this world is the world of suffering.

Student: That’s number one?

SR: Yeah. And cause of suffering.

Student: That’s two?

SR: Two. The third one way to have diversions from, way to get out of it [the Eightfold Path]

and  Enlightenment or Nirvana. 

Student: That’s three, isn’t it?

SR: No four.

Student: Fourth is Nirvana.

SR: Fourth is Nirvana.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-06-28 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC
***

The student was correct. Nirvana is the Third Noble Truth - at least I've never seen it listed as number four. And the Eightfold Path is always in my experience listed as the Fourth Noble Truth. This isn't the only time Suzuki did it this way. Maybe there's an alternate order in some Chinese or Japanese tradition, but I bet he just saw it that way and never thought to check. It does make sense in the order Suzuki used and doesn't seem to matter. He never seemed to me to care much for the letter of the law, just the spirit. - DC