top of page


This month (1/30/24 at 7:00 PM/ET Password FSZS)  we begin the first of five reviews of five major tenets of Buddhism. Each month we will explore a tenant:

  1. The Three Laws (January)

  2. The Four Noble Truths (February)

  3. The Noble Eightfold Path (March)

  4. The Paramitas (April)

  5. The Precepts (May)

  6. Spinning The Dharma Wheel (June)

The Three Laws

Shakyamuni Buddha was a human being. Mull this over. He had the same senses, bodily functions, and mental experiences as you. What you experience in the truest sense is what he felt too… 

There is a term in sociology: domain assumption. The American sociologist Alvin Gouldner speaks of "domain. assumptions," by which he means the key or master conceptual frames of reference which affect the kinds of models and hypotheses that are imaginable-and therefore possible-in an epoch or circle of scholarship.

Such a theory comes from the search for elementail common components in a field of inquiry. Shakyamuni Buddha undertook six years of experiential practices tediously exploring suffering. His range of experience was hedonism to asceticism (H–A). The question being can the extreme behaviors of these opposites produce clarity cause and secession of suffering within one lifetime?

He walked the path H–A, and came to see that neither extreme reduces, but increased suffering. What he came to believe, produced radical psychological buffeting to the extent one felt they would be mentally torn apart. This Dukkha (wobbly wheel), We Are Constructed Through Metaphor, finds a central place in the Middle Way: H–(MW)--A  

I suggest the first law is that in the human condition this vibrational metaphor of Dukkha happens to all people all the time and that the intensity varies. That is no one escapes this condition hence it is a domain assumption that everyone experiences and can be a point of conversation, a means to speak it, others to hear and understand it is what happens to them and through working together support the other in exploring reduction of the causes. What are the three marks of existence?

This reduction is dependent on change. That is potential-arising which could not do so if everything is fixed in space and time. Hence the second law of impermanence (Annaca) is unfolding of cause and effect. Whereby everything is acted upon by all things in a type of chain reaction (co-origination). 

The importance being that actions we produce impact others and their volitional actions (karma). And, there is more, since cosmic and sub-atomic conditions and variables are changing, everything vibrates in changing ways forming, deforming, and reforming at the speed of light. Cosmic Evolution

These two laws question the belief of the time–atman or a seed of self that is unique for each human which upon death is freed to re-enter other proto-life forms. Shakyamuni taught that the self/soul was made-up of sensory impressions that were made-up of the same componets as everything in the cosmos is formed. The third law is An Atta or non abiding-self. Today we generally view this understanding as ego. Ātman (Buddhism) - Wikipedia

So for discussion revolve the Dharma wheel. In everyday life we experience unsatisfactoriness to different degrees and how we handle these conditions affect our dis-ease heightened by our inability to reconcile the feelings. This attachment to, or wish to leave, compounds the dukkha. We do not know what to do and we think we are unique in the feelings we have. This uniqueness and nothing will help feeling, in some cases can even carry a wish to end all through oblivion.

The Dharma (clarity of awakeness) is absolute-relatedness of the moment in that change is happening so fast, it is a variable that makes the condition change so rapidly, we must gain a sense of fluidity to understand suffering. This in turn leads to the Four Noble Truths or the “Knowing” of conditional change which is the topic for our February exploration. 

Palms Together.


50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha Monthly Calendar JUNE 2024

Zoom: Password FSZS Dokusan with Sangaku-sensei by appointment •Remember Each Morning Zazen (30 min. then talk) on


bottom of page