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There are two aspects to the Buddha’s teaching:
The very essence of the scriptures and of realization.
One should hold these in mind, speak about them,
And practice them. Do only that.


I came across this while reading volume I of Geshe Sopa’s commentary (Steps on the Path to Enlightenment) on Lama Tsongkhapa’s Lamrim Chenmo. On pp. 45 Geshe Sopa says “Everything the Buddha taught unerringly presents the four noble truths…”.  And “the purpose of practicing the lamrim method is to help you quickly and easily comprehend the true meaning of the scriptures” (pp. 59). Also, “… all the scriptures are important special instructions” (pp. 56) and so as Dromtonpa said “If, after studying a great deal of Dharma, you feel you need to seek out another set of teachings for practice,  then you have got it all wrong” (quoted on pp. 57).

So perhaps not as extreme as my statement that “all there is are the 4 Noble Truths” (since Geshe Sopa’s quote says that all scripture presents the four noble truths but it does not say that it only presents the 4 Noble truths), but it certainly calls attention to the centrality of these Truths to all of Buddha’s teachings. That being said, and pulling from the other quotes, I come to see the lamrim as the method for quickly (relatively speaking) coming to realize the 4 Noble truths in practice.

Not very uniquely insightful, but helpful for me.