The Dharma of Jack Kerouac

I was reading Jack Kerouac’s book “Some of the Dharma” and I really like how he elucidated the core teachings of Buddhism. This book is a collection of notes that the beat writer took while he was studying the Dharma. It’s incredibly insightful and worth reading.

And I quote: 

THE FOUR FORGETTABLE TRUTHS (THAT I MUST NEVER FORGET)

1. All Life is Suffering  INDIVIDUALITY IS PAINFUL

                                      BIRTH DECAY DEATH ARE PAINFUL

2. The suffering is from ignorant craving.

                                   LUST OF FLESH       LUST OF LIFE

                                                  PRIDE OF LIFE

3. The suffering can be suppressed

                                DESTRUCTION OF CRAVING DESIRE

 

EIGHTFOLD PATH

1. RIGHT VIEWS-that all life is sorrow and suffering and torment in spite of occasional appearance….correct doctrines, free from superstition or delusion.

2. RIGHT ASPIRATIONS-ambition to destroy suffering and ego, attain greatest happiness known to man as soon as possible-a clear perception of correct doctrines

3. RIGHT SPEECH-ask and answer necessary questions, speak to instruct, radiate mental peace and compassion in silence-inflexible veracity, kindly, open, truthful.

4. RIGHT CONDUCT-The 4 Precepts (don’t kill, steal, lust or deceive)-No sloth and intoxicants-Purity of conduct, peaceful, honest, pure.

5. RIGHT LIVELIHOOD-live in the open-bringing hurt or danger to no living thing-a sinless occupation

6. RIGHT ENDEAVOR-continual awareness loving all-energetic guard over progress-correct efforts-perseverance is duty-effort in self training and self control

7. RIGHT MINDFULNESS-avoid outgoing projecting multiplicity thoughts, anoint thee with incoming intuiting unified thoughts of Essence-Active watchful mind-Holy Meditation

8. RIGHT CONTEMPLATION-daily practice of dhyana for the attainment of Samadhi and Samapatti and attainment of Highest Perfect Enlightenment for the sake of all sentient life-earnest thoughts on the deep mysteries of life-mental tranquility

 

 

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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. His writing has appeared in Lion's Roar, Patheos, Tattooed Buddha, and Elephant Journal. Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows and was transmitted the Caodong Ch'an lineage of Master Hsu Yun.

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