The Four Seals

This is a list of the four aspects of philosophy that all sects of Buddhism have in common

1.The impermanence of time and space. This is the process that allows things to happen. Whatever is collected is also dispersed and all things decay. What we struggle with is recognize in our lives that things always change. We tend to try to cling to things our wish things are permanent, including our lives. Whereas many other religions teach that we can have some form of eternal life, that is not part of Buddhist doctrine. Everything is impermanent, including us.
2.Suffering. Anything can be a source of pain. Comfort is impermanent. Suffering exists only in relation to our wish not to suffer, based on our expectations.
3.Egolessness. All dharmas, or experiences, are regarded as having the potential of being free from the fixation of the ego. There is nothing to hang on to, from the point of view of the self. The situation is already clear if we just pay attention. All dharmas are egoless, the projection and the projector are one. There is no real separation between the individual and phenomena. We try to hold things to make ourselves happy, but there’s really nothing to hold. We are like bubbles in a stream.
4.Peace. Nonagression. Quiet down and things can become clear. This is the absence of chaos that we are striving for. Don’t hold views, transcend the path of fixation, of holding on to ideas. This is based on cutting through our fixed views and preoccupations. When we go beyond the struggle we are relieved. We have Buddha nature as the core of our being. We don’t have to try to be someone, we can be peace instead. This is ultimate wakefulness.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher and Ch'an Adept living in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project. He also runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. Daniel has a BA in English from KU and handles paperwork for a living.

His teaching style has been compared to that of the earliest Mahayana teachers and Ch'an Masters.

Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows in both the Nagarjuna and Asanga lineages and was transmitted the Caodong Ch'an lineage of Master Xu Yun.

Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter