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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
Tokudo
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
Reliance
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
Seiza
Toshio Murakami September 1997
 
 


Denial of Suffering


Suffering is something we usually do not want to know - we just want to get rid of it. As soon as there is any inconvenience or annoyance, the tendency of an unawakened human being is to get rid of it or suppress it - or seek pleasure and delight in what is new, exciting or romantic.
When we find ourselves with something we do not like, we try to get away from it and towards something we do like. If we feel boredom, we go to something interesting. If we feel frightened, we try to find safety. This is a perfectly natural thing to do - it is called the pleasure/pain principle; being attracted and repelled in turn or in Buddhist terms, clinging and aversion.

So if the mind is not full and receptive, then it is bound to be selective - it selects what it likes and tries to suppress what it does not like.

TO INVESTIGATE SUFFERING
We should try to understand dukkha: to really look at, stand under and accept it as suffering. Try to understand it when you are feeling physical pain or despair and anguish or hatred and aversion - whatever form it takes, whatever quality it has, whether it is extreme or slight.

This teaching does not mean that to get enlightened you have to be utterly and totally miserable. You do not have to have everything taken away from you; it just means that you become able to look at suffering, even if it is just a mild feeling of discontent, and understand it.

With mindfulness, we are willing to bear with the whole of life; with the excitement and the boredom, the hope and the despair, the fascination and the weariness, the beginning and the end. We are willing to accept the whole of it in the mind rather than just becoming absorb into just the pleasant and suppress the unpleasant. The process of insight is the going to dukkha, looking at dukkha, admitting dukkha, recognising dukkha in all its forms.

These teachings are not outside our experience. They are, in fact, reflections of our actual experience - not complicated intellectual issues.
Make this resolution to go where the suffering is and then abide with it because it is only by examining and confronting suffering in this way that we can hope to have the tremendous insight of: 'This suffering has been understood.'

So these are the three aspects of the First Noble Truth. This is the formula that we must use and apply in reflection on our lives. Whenever you feel suffering, first make the recognition: 'There is suffering', then: 'It should be understood', and finally: 'It has been understood'.

This understanding of dukkha is the insight into the First Noble Truth.

 

 

 

 
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