Four Noble Truths

All right, I'm going to make this even MORE confusing. Why?

I was about to ask, "Why wasn't anybody in the chat room this morning? It's Friday morning!" Well, then I realized, while it may be Friday in the US, I think it's still Thursday in Austrailia . . . or wait, is it Saturday? OK, so I'm going to have to make a new chart...

Now, Buddy, when you say you're available on Friday, do you really mean Friday night/Saturday morning?


  • edited December 1969
    Has anyone out there in "Nirvana" utilized the 4 Noble Truths to help teenagers with their daily lives? I am a volunteer math and science tutor. I tutor kids that have a lot of baggage to carry, due to poverty, disfunctional parents etc. Also, I live in the Bible belt, so I do want to offend anyone's belief system. Thank you for any suggestions.
  • edited December 1969
    I work with juvenile offenders, and occasionally run the on-floor sunday church service, and I've introduced some of the eastern concepts to them-they're always interested in hearing something outside of the American / Christian mainstream, but it's usually a bit much for them to wrap their minds around, though I try to keep it simple.
  • edited December 1969
    That a problematic situation. I raised my kids from birth on Buddha's Truths and it has worked very well. The only thing I would say is that Buddha's Truths are extremely rational and subject to personal verification. That's not really the case with the moralistic platitudes puffed out by society's hypocrites... ouch! Thus, certain kids might warm up to the rational 'challenge'; you present the 4 simple concepts ('truths') and challenge them to see if they can prove or disprove them...

    The more deeply you have attempted to prove and disprove them, the more sincere and believable you will come across. I wish you luck. And, do post any progress (or lack there of). I'm sure many would be interested! Oh, and you might just offer the concepts without attribution to Buddha, at least at the beginning. Just say a wise old man long ago discovered that.... :o
  • JoeJoe
    edited December 1969
    As I've been studying Buddhism more in-depth, I've begun to share some of the basics with my 9 year old daughter. It really helps one's own understanding, to have to simplify it for a beginner, and have it make sense.

    What I find works well is treating concepts as "good advice" that most people have heard of already, in one form or another. For example, we've been discussing the idea that our desires cause us suffering. When we talk about this, I'll use examples of when my daughter has really wanted something (new leather boots recently), and the effects that has had on her life. So we'll talk about what it feels like when we can't get what we think we want (I had her wait 2 weeks to see if she still wanted them). I pointed out that she had 2 days earlier seen a pair of sandals she thought she wanted. And I'll remind her of some of the things that she has acquired in the past, that she really wanted, and that now sit in our basement in the Goodwill bag.

    I like to take the opportunity to bring up Buddhist concepts in the context of whatever she's dealing with, particularly right in the moment when she's dealing with whatever might be difficult. Looking again and again at the bigger picture, the impermance and illusions of our desires. Examining them in ways and words that are close to my daughter's actual experiences, instead of spouting "ideals" that are just words from a book.

    Lastly, the thing that helps the most is my remembering that we all, as members of the human race, share the same emotions, and share the same need to try to make sense out of our world, as we struggle to find some sense of contentment. We can all relate to the difficulties of our basic existence.

    Good luck in your work with troubled teens - definitely a challenge. (And probably pushing you to keep learning more about yourself too!)
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