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Chokhor Duchen - Buddha's First Teaching

Thursday, July 27, (All day) 2017

Seven weeks after attaining enlightenment at Bodhgaya, the Buddha gave his first teaching at the Deer Park in Sarnath. He expressed his profound realization of the nature of existence in the Four Noble Truths:

    The Truth of  the Nature of Suffering
    The Truth of the Origins or Causes of Suffering
    The Truth of the Cessation of, or Liberation from, Suffering
    The Truth of the Eight Fold Path as the means to attain ultimate happiness and freedom from suffering.

This teaching, referred to as the First Turning of the Wheel of Dharma, led to the formation of the Sangha, the community of disciples committed to following the Buddha's example of living simply, following the Path, and teaching the Dharma. Accordingly, every year at this time, the FPMT encourages its Centers to celebrate the presence of the sangha community. Our website includes a Sangha Support and Offerings page with valuable information, including a previous year's talk and Q&A about sangha with our director, Robbie Watkins.

 Kadampa Center's Observance of the First Turning of the Wheel, Chokor Duchen,  will include:

   11 am    Animal blessing and liberation

    7 pm    Shakyamuni Buddha Puja

Lama Zopa Rinpoche notes that on a Buddha Holy Day such as Chokhor Duchen, karmic consequences are multiplied 100 million times, according to a Vinaya text.

Center members who have previously taken the Eight Mahayana Precepts are encouraged to take them at the center, or at home.

Additionally, it is an auspicious day for prayers, practices, and meditations focusing on any aspect of the Mahayana path to enlightenment.