Archive of Jornal Articles

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The Tannisho Today
Rev Tairyu Furukawa March 1996
On Meditation
Vaughan Evans May 1995
From Blood to Rocks
Geoff Carpenter March 1996
Rev John Paraskevopoulos March 1996
The Meaning of Kikyoshiki
Hongwangi International CentreSeptember 1996
The Shin Buddhist Way
Rev Jack Austin September 1996
A Sutra of Healing and Protection
Tricycle Publications March 1996
Rules for Being Human
Unknown September 1996
Sallea Ungar September 1996
The Importance of Self Effort
Joren MacDonald September 1997
Self Power and Other Power Play Together
David Brazier
September 1997
Faith in What?
Ajahn Sumedho (summerised by Max Flisher) Sep 1997
The Myokonin
Friedrich Fenzl September 1997
Toshio Murakami September 1997

Suffering and Self-View

It is important to reflect upon the phrasing of the First Noble Truth. It is phrased in a very clear way: 'There is suffering,' rather than, 'I suffer.'
Whenever we dwell on the thought of suffering we tend to personalise it as 'my suffering'. 'I suffer a lot - and I don't want to suffer.' This is the way our thinking mind is conditioned.

'I am suffering' always conveys the sense of 'I am somebody who is suffering' be it a little or a lot. Then the whole process of the association with one's self and one's memories kicks in. You remember all sorts of things going all the way back to when you were a baby ... and so on.

But note, the First Noble Truth does not say there is someone who has suffering. It is not personal thing; it just says that 'There is suffering'. It is not: 'Oh poor me, why do I have to suffer so much? What did I do to deserve this? Why do I have to have sorrow, pain, grief and despair? It is not fair! I do not want it. I only want happiness and security.' This kind of thinking comes from ignorance [or 'not knowing' and more like the ignorance of a child who simple 'does not know better'] which complicates everything and can result in personality problems.

To let go of suffering, we have to admit it into consciousness. But the attitude or approach to suffering in Buddhist meditation should not be made from a position of: 'I am suffering' but rather, 'there is the presence of suffering'. We are not trying to identify with the problem but simply acknowledge that there is one.

It is unskilful to think in terms of: 'I get angry so easily; how do I get rid of it?' It is this self questioning that triggers off all the underlying assumptions of a self and then it becomes very confusing because the sense of 'my' problems or 'my' thoughts takes us very easily towards suppression, making judgements and criticising ourselves ... or everybody else. That is all just the result of birth thus, 'birth is suffering'.

When you just admit that there is this feeling of confusion, greed or anger, then there is an honest reflection on the way it is and you are ready to accept all conditions and/or situation as impermanent, unsatisfactory and non-self.

'There is suffering' is a very clear, precise acknowledgement that at this time, there is some feeling of unhappiness. It can range from anguish and despair to mild irritation; dukkha does not necessarily mean severe suffering.




PLBF Southampton Sangha
Buddha Rupa Inauguration
"Not Separate from Person"
"Harmony in the Home"
Stupa of Namu-Amida-Butsu
Lantern Festival
Amsterdam Buddha Parade
Buddha Dharma Study Notes
1. The Four Noble Truths
2. The Nobel Eightfold Way
Further Study of the First Truth
3a. Three Aspects
3b. Suffering and Self View
3c. Denial of Suffering
audio file shortcuts
The Three Jewels
text pages
Saying the Name
"Enmei Juku Kannon" Gyo
The Three Jewels @ wikipedia.org
stand alone pages
On Faith in the Heart
Ven. Myokyo-ni Obituary