Stephen Batchelor argues that a wise and compassionate response to the threat of climate extinction demands direct engagement with life itself irrespective of any a priori beliefs about the origins and end of suffering. By entering into a contemplative, empathetic, and existential relationship with the pain of the world, one seeks to respond with situation-specific compassion.
The core teachings and insights of Gotama are not ‘truths’ to be believed but a ‘fourfold’ task to help us live our lives in a mindful and compassionate way.
This was the first of four talks given by Winton Higgins at a day-long workshop in New Zealand in 2013. He argues that the traditional formulation of the Four Noble Truths should be replaced by the fourfold task.