Inhabiting a human body, we experience a continuous ebb and flow of pleasure and pain, gain and loss. Inhabiting our human society is the same; we encounter praise and blame, fame and disrepute, success and failure, arising and passing endlessly.
Suffering is different from pain. Suffering is our reaction, our contraction, our fears and hatred and grasping in response to the inevitable pain of life. On a personal level this reactive suffering can include anxiety, depression, fear, confusion, grief, anger, hurt, addiction, jealousy, frustration. But suffering is not only personal. Our collective suffering grows from the same reactivity, fears and grasping and turns into the sorrows of warfare and racism, the isolation and torture of prisoners everywhere, the hunger, sickness and abandonment of human beings on every continent. Our individual and collective suffering is called the First Noble Truth of Suffering.
The Second Noble Truth describes the cause of suffering: grasping. Grasping, it explains, gives birth to greed, hatred, and delusion, the three roots of all unhealthy states. From greed, hatred, and delusion arise all other unhealthy states such as jealousy, anxiety, violence, addiction, possessiveness and shamelessness. The forces of greed hatred, and delusion are the causes of individual and global suffering.
The Third Noble Truth offers us the way out, the end of suffering. Unlike pain, suffering is not inevitable. Freedom from suffering is possible when we let go of our reactions, release our fear and grasping, and come to inner peace amidst all things. This freedom is called Nirvana. This is the Third Noble Truth.
The Fourth Noble Truth is the path to the end of suffering. This path is called the middle way. The middle way invites us to find peace here and now. With mindfulness and compassion, we can learn to live neither grasping nor fearing life. We can find wakefulness and freedom in the midst of our joys and sorrows.
when you fall, just sit there a moment and feel your way into breathing…
inquiry for today~ step by step through despair- into joy and the cycles of your life…..
I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.