08/29/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Four Noble Truths of the Revolutionary Path to Freedom

The first teachings the Buddha gave after his enlightenment were the four noble truths. These were first delivered to the same ascetics he had been practicing with in the forest before his awakening. This giving of the truths is often referred to as the setting in motion of the wheel of Dharma. The term wheel is used because the Buddha's teachings explain the cycle or circle of existence. Furthering that imagery, the wheel of Dharma consists of eight trainings, the eightfold path, which are seen as the wheel's spokes. When a wheel is set in motion it revolves. One could say that all of Buddhism revolves around these central teachings, because every Buddhist tradition includes some form of the four noble truths and the eightfold path. So with this turning of the wheel, the Buddha started a revolution that continues to this day.

When the Buddha first returned to his old pals, the homeless homeys, they were hesitant to listen to what he had to say. They shunned him as a food-eater and sellout. But the Buddha's newfound freedom and happiness were so apparent and attractive that they couldn't help but listen to what he had to say.

Noah currently teaches at his meditation center in Los Angeles. Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society is located in a historic building in East Hollywood, one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the city.

4300 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles CA 90029