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The Four Noble Truths: Truths One, Two & Three - Dharma Study Class

  • Long Beach Meditation 5100 East The Toledo Long Beach, CA, 90803 United States (map)

Led by Jokai Blackwell

The foundation of the Buddha’s teaching was revealed in his expression of the Four Noble Truths. With remarkable precision and timeless value, the first three truths identify the inherent challenge implicit in the human condition and prepare the ground for the the path of practice (outlined in the fourth noble truth) that can ultimately lead to the end of suffering. In this workshop we will look at each of the first three Noble Truths in turn:

  1. The Fact of Suffering - Life always involves stress and suffering, both obvious and subtle. Even when things are going well, we often feel an undercurrent of anxiety, inadequacy or uncertainty inside.
  2. The Cause of Suffering - The cause of suffering is craving and fundamental ignorance. We suffer because of our painful and futile struggle to maintain our self-centered desires and delusions.
  3. The End of Suffering - The good news is that the awakened mind is always available to us when not obscured.  Suffering can end when we abandon its causes.

The workshop format will include:

  • Opening sitting meditation
  • The First Noble Truth explored: The fact of suffering, timeless wisdom and its priceless relevance in our modern life.
  • The Second Noble Truth explored: The Cause of Suffering: How we create our own dissatisfactions, resulting from a basic misunderstanding of our self nature in relationship to the world.
  • The Third Noble Truth explored: Seeing and understanding the ways we obscure the truth of our life is the first step toward relieving our suffering and awakening our true potential.
  • Q & A and group discussion will follow the presentation of each Noble Truth.
  • Closing sitting meditation

This workshop will be study-focused with time for sitting meditation at the beginning and end. As part of LBM’s foundational teachings series, this session will be complemented by a morning of meditation practice based on this class and offered by Susy Keely on July 21st. To gain the most benefit, it is recommended to attend the meditation class two weeks after this Dharma study class.

This workshop is suitable for meditators of all levels.


Refunds are available up to 24 hours before the course.




Bay Shore Church
5100 The Toledo
Long Beach, CA 90803

We meet in the Gabrielson Chapel of the Bay Shore Church on The Toledo and Granada in Belmont Shore.

Parking: There is a free lot across Granada Ave. There is free public parking available except from noon Saturday through noon Sunday. Street parking is also available. Please observe all parking signs.

ADA Accessible

Equipment: We have different styles of zafus (firm sitting cushions), zabutons (floor mats), benches and comfortable chairs on hand.

    Questions?: Email us at

    Please consider bringing

    • A snack or drink for yourself and/or to contribute.
    • Your own sitting gear, if preferred.
    • A donation/dana for the teacher.
    • Wear loose-fitting clothes and shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
    • An extra wrap like a blanket or shawl to keep warm during the sits.

    Please Note:

    • DO NOT wear scented perfumes and fragrances.
    • TURN OFF your cell phone for the duration of the event.
    • Arrive at least 5 minutes early to get settled.

    Financial Assistance: No one is turned away for lack of funds! If you are unable to pay all or part of the fee, please email us at

    Jokai Blackwell


    Jokai Blackwell Sensei relocated to Southern California from the UK in 2000 to study with Charles Tenshin Fletcher Roshi at Yokoji Zen Mountain Center. After completing formal study, encompassing over a decade of residential training and service, he received Dharma Transmission (full authorization to teach) in the White Plum Lineage of Zen Buddhism. Jokai emphasizes the direct experience of awakening using contemporary language and time-honored methods.