The Buddha's Last Sermon

Before dying, the Buddha gave his final sermon. This last sermon had eight main points:

1) The more desires one has, the more they will suffer. Our mere existence is suffering. In our life we distinguish pleasure from suffering and tend to cling to pleasure. This is our inherent nature. But suffering is inseparable from pleasure, for one is never found without the other. Therefore, the more we seek pleasure and avoid suffering, the more entangled we become in the duality of pleasure and suffering.

2) Be content with our state of being. If we are not satisfied with our state of being we will be slaves to the five desires which stem from the five senses.

3) When the self and the external world become one, eternal serenity is enjoyed. Forget the self, forget others. Become one with no barrier between the self and the outside world.

4) Without any interruption, practice meditation. Meditation includes not only sitting. Every moment of one's life is meditation. This means to experience the oneness of yourself, time, and place.

5) Do not forget what the Buddha taught. As Buddha was dying, he told his disciples to forget about him and his belongings. The important thing was to remember his teachings.

6) When we enter samadhi and understand impermanence, we are unshaken. Everything is constantly changing, including ourselves.

7) Nonattachment is the essential wisdom. Because all existence is fleeting, attachment to them is wasteful.

8) When we reach enlightenment we and the world become one, and there is no duality.




Graphic images are adapted from
photographs by Michael Grab, Gravity Glue


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