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Public Talk:  The Four Noble Truths
by Ven. Khenpo Karten Rinpoche
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
6:00pm to 7:30pm
Manjushri Dharma Center
724 Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, CA
In-person and on Zoom (link below)

About the Four Noble Truths

Life can throw us for a curve sometimes–death and loss of loved ones, unexpected changes in jobs, marriages, friendships–an endless parade of ups and downs.  2500 years ago (or so) the historic Buddha Shakyamuni bucked the societal norms of the day, abandoned his wealth and class, and sat down under a Bodhi tree with a resolve to not arise until he deeply understood where suffering comes from.  He had a profound awakening experience, but thought it impossible to explain.   He was going to live his life dwelling silently in the forest,  not sharing his realization with others, but was encouraged and requested repeatedly to teach.  Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 marks the start of the Tibetan holy occasion of Choekhor Duchen, honoring the day that Buddha Shakyamuni (~563 to 483 B.C.) gave his first teaching, the Four Noble Truths.  The Four Noble Truths are the foundation of Buddhism, but are also universal truths (hence Noble).  The Venerable Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, Tibetan Buddhist monk and spiritual teacher at the Manjushri Dharma Center in Pacific Grove,  will explain this profound teaching in a rare public talk.  Rinpoche has written an extensive explanation in his book Precious Teachings entitled: “The Essence of Buddhism as Related to the Four Noble Truths.”  Here is an excerpt:

This is the noble truth of suffering.
This is the noble truth of its cause.
This is the noble truth of cessation.
This is the noble truth of the path.
Suffering is to be understood.
Causes are to be abandoned.
Cessation is to be manifested.
Paths are for the mind to rely upon.
Come and learn more from Khenpo Karten Rinpoche about the Four Noble Truths and the path to inner peace and freedom.

About the Venerable Khenpo Karten Rinpoche

Khenpo Karten Rinpoche is an accomplished teacher and practitioner of the Karma Kagyu Lineage and is also trained in the Nyingma Lineage of Buddhism. He was born in the beautiful mountains of the Himalayas of Tibet.  At the age of twelve, he was ordained at Ja-pa monastery, where he began his formal education of reading, writing and ritual practice. At the age of fifteen having completed the basic studies, he furthered his studies in the Sutra and Tantric texts under the accomplished master Khenchen Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche and Pema Tsewang Rinpoche for eight years. Subsequently Khenpo Karten Rinpoche went to the hermitage of another accomplished teacher, Sangye Tenzin Rinpoche (his heart teacher and root guru) and completed five years of retreat under the great master. In the retreat he completed the practices of the Naropa’s six yoga, Mahamudra and many others.  In recognition of his achievements, Sangye Tenzin Ringpoche bestowed upon him the title, Khenpo Karma Lekshe Tharchin in 1994.In 1996, he left Tibet and traveled to Dharamsala, India to meet His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Upon His Holiness’ advice, he spent another two years doing retreat. H.H Dalai Lama also recognizing his achievement, bestowed upon him the title Khenpo Rinpoche. After his retreat, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche was requested by H.E Tai Situ Rinpoche to go to the monastery of Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche, to teach the young monks there.Khenpo Karten arrived in the United States in 2008, and taught in the Monterey Bay area for the first time in September of that year. After meeting a group of prospective students and seeing the hills of Big Sur which remind him of Tibet, he returned in 2009 to make the Monterey Bay his permanent home. Since then, Rinpoche has established the Manjushri Dharma Center (MDC) in Pacific Grove, California, which has become his main teaching location and his home residence.  With unflinching faith in the precious Buddha Dharma, Khenpo Karten Rinpoche, now a U.S. citizen, bestows sacred teachings to thousands of people all over the world, with weekly teachings and events.

About Choekhor Duchen

Choekhor Duchen Festival in Tibet is one of the four great seasonal festivals (Losar, Saga Dawa, Choekhor Duchen and Lhabab Duchen) celebrated by all Tibetan Buddhists. During those times, it is believed that the effects of positive or negative actions are multiplied ten million times.  It falls in the Tibetan Lunar calendar in the 6th month, 4th day—this year spanning July 9-10th, 2024.  Choekhor means “Prayer Wheel” or “Dharma Wheel”, the common religious objects in Tibet, and Duchen means “great occasion” in Tibetan. Hand held wheels are hollow wooden or metal cylinders attached to a handle which are printed with mantras and when turned spread spiritual blessing. Mantras invoke the attention and blessings of the Buddhas, for example —Om Mani Padme Hum–the mantra of Chenrezig also known as Avalokiteshvara who is the Buddha of Compassion, invokes great love, compassion, and wisdom.  Tradition has it that Buddha was not convinced that teaching what he had discovered through his meditations could be communicated in a way that would be of any benefit to others. It took the intercession of the great gods, Brahma and Indra, to persuade him to do so for the benefit of all sentient beings. The Buddha then addressed the five people who had been his companions during the time spent with the forest yogins, and taught this first teaching–the Four Noble Truths.

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Contact Rachel Christopherson at [email protected].


This depiction of the first teaching Buddha Shakyamuni gave to his first five disciples, Sermon in the Deer Park takes place at Sarnath, is from Wat Chedi Liam, a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Artist unknown, but appreciated.

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