Sunday, July 7, 2019

How to run from suffering (Part 1)

Ajahn Maha Boowa via Ven. Sujato, Ellie Askew, Dhr. Seven (ed.), Wisdom Quarterly
Suffering is coming, so we must escape. But where is escape? (Horns of a Dilemma)

People often say that the way Buddhism teaches constantly about the dukkha or "suffering" of living beings is unpleasant to them.

It makes them so depressed that they get no joy out of listening to the Dharma, the Buddha's Teaching.

They feel as if the disappointments and discontents being talked about were joining forces with the suffering and discontentment already inside them, making them despondent and sad.

And if that weren’t enough, the basic principles of the Buddha’s Teaching -- the Four Ennobling Truths (contemplations leading to the noble state of enlightenment) -- start with pain as their primary theme, since that’s what the dispensation (sasana) teaches about far more than anything else.
  • [The Buddha actually sought to teach only two things, suffering and the end of all suffering, dukkha and nirvana. Those twin teachings, in a nutshell, are the Dharma.]
It’s as if the Buddha were driving away the people who, out of fear of all kinds of suffering, come running to the Dharma for shelter, consolation, and a real solution.

But instead they feel they have to run away from the Dharma, inasmuch as they don’t want to sit and listen to anyone talking about pain, its cause, suffering, or discontent.

Actually, when people say things like this, it shows that they haven’t had enough training in the dispensation of the Buddha to understand its true aims.

The fact that the dispensation teaches about disappointment or suffering is completely in line with the way things are. This is in keeping with the name "Ennobling Truths."

These truths are the dispensation's basic principles. They’re true. Moreover, they lead to personal realization and enlightenment.

The Buddha was a person who truly knew and understood. This is why he was able to point out the wants and deficiencies in living beings -- for the suffering we experience all have deficiencies as their basic cause.

What are these Four Ennobling Truths, in brief? See Part 2

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