With the First Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma, the Buddha taught The Four Noble Truths: all of us suffer; we suffer because we want things to be different than they are; our suffering can end; and it can end if we practice deeply and live in a way of integrity, meditation and wisdom.

Pain will end. Grief will end. Joy will end. Contentment will end. And all will return. This is how life is. He said that we all experience the 10,000 joys and the 10,000 sorrows. We experience everything and everything changes all the time. Is impermanent. When we can accept life just as it is… feel all of these feelings without adding on all the resistance and self-doubt and recrimination… Suffering ends. We still feel the 10,000 joys and the10,000 sorrows they just aren’t tainted with our “what’s wrong with me?”

Then he taught the Second Turning of The Wheel Of The Dharma: Emptiness. We are all connected. ALL of life is connected. And even though we appear to be separate from one another, we are all connected in the most fundamental ways… We are all components of the whole.

Then the Buddha deepened his teachings even further with the Third Turning of The Wheel Of The Dharma: Buddhanature. Suffering ends with acceptance of life just as it is. And with the understanding that we ourselves are basically good…. That we always have been and always will be no matter how many mistakes we make, no matter how much we struggle, no matter how confused and delusional we are… we are at the core of our being—good. That this goodness is the ultimate nature of “mind.” Buddha called this basic goodness “Buddhanature.”

Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche wrote ““In the discourses of the third turning, taught to a retinue of bodhisattvas, the Buddha went further into his teachings on the ultimate nature of mind… With these teachings on the absolute nature of mind, Buddha introduced the notion of tathagatagarbha, or the buddhanature theory. This declares that the fundamental nature of mind is utterly pure and primordially in the state of buddhahood. It is the absolute buddha. It has never changed from beginningless time. Its essence is wisdom and compassion that is inconceivably profound and vast. The term tathagata is a description for the Buddha and refers to one who has “gone beyond” the ordinary world to the state of perfect enlightenment. Garbha is sometimes translated as “womb” or “seed.” Thus, tathagatagarbha points to the enlightened potential that is inherent within all sentient beings, whether they exist as humans, animals, gods, or even demons.”

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