Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yes, but how do I get to enlightenment?

Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Vas Bana from the Bhikkhu Sangha at LABV
The Buddha with florid wall depicting celestial devas and guardians (Dboo/flickr)
Wisdom Quarterly has to stay aware of [operative] Netanyahu and the CIA's atrocities, maintain yogic attention bringing together body and mind with the bridge between them, spirit (breath). The world and ourselves in it is all well and good, but what about enlightenment?
According to the Buddha's message about the understanding of the nature of disappointment (unsatisfactoriness, suffering) should be the main purpose of an intelligent person with the rare opportunity to be reborn as a human being.

As the result of listening to the Buddha's message a person can understand the nature of the suffering we face in day to day life. If someone knows 
  1. the real nature of suffering, one knows
  2. the cause of suffering,
  3. the cessation of suffering, and
  4. the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.
Therefore, the understanding of the Four Noble Truths pivots on understanding disappointment. This understanding conduces to getting rid of it and attaining real happiness.

What is the CAUSE of all kinds of suffering? When some experience arises through our senses with the combination of mind and matter, if we have no real knowledge or understanding, we take it as permanent and we delight in it. Then when it changes, ceases, or disappears -- which it must inevitably do -- we suffer because of our ignorance into the true nature of phenomena and the nature of causes and effects, the way things come to be and fall away.

But if someone knows the situation as it actually is, one tries to avoid becoming involved in it -- delighting, craving, then clinging -- and finds release from disappointment/suffering.

One reflects on experience as it actually is just as it is. The experience arises and passes away at that moment without remaining as anything to cling to. One is free to enjoy it without being fooled as to what it is or is not. And unconfused, unperplexed, one experiences pleasure and pain with equanimity, not falling under the spell of delusion, wrong views, or ignorance.

A path to the further shore (Satorinihon/flickr)
Here we have a real path to make an end of suffering, to overcome disappointment, to heal pain and sadness, a Noble Eightfold Path.

This is central to Buddhism. All teachings taught by the Buddha to the world can be summarized under the Four Noble Truths, of which the path-of-practice may be the most important. As much as we may strive for knowledge, courage, compassion, or confidence, we can practice the path to enlightenment and get the result in this very life if we are kind, honest, and intelligent.

What is the first step of the path? CONTINUED IN PART 2

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