- The suffering that comes from living with an impermanent body and living within a hostile environment.
- The suffering that comes from not getting the things we like and having to make do with those that we do not like.
- The suffering of change, happiness does not last.
- Suffering that arises from general dissatisfaction at whatever situation as long as we are not fulfilling our spiritual potential.
The second noble truth states that the origin of dukkha is craving. We are constantly craving our world to be a certain way but as the world is constantly changing then all this is doing is leading to unhappiness. There is a difference between a healthy desire for something such as a need to quench you thirst or for friendship but these are very different from the craving for a chocolate bar or the latest fashion accessory. Craving ultimately just distracts us from realising our full spiritual potential. On a more extreme level, craving is just a ‘result of our deluded obsession with ourselves. Things to remember are that life is full inescapable sufferings, as soon as you are born you start to die, there is sickness, old age and all other ailments that come with having an impermanent body. To transcend this suffering we must look inside ourselves and turn our negative states into positive ones.
The third noble truth takes a more positive look at life. Our suffering is based on our conditioning. All the events that have happened before leads us to where we are now. To over come, understand our conditioning / limitations and then to transcend it will be our end to suffering.
The fourth noble truth helps us to understand how we can overcome our suffering by following the noble Eightfold path. The Eightfold path is basically saying is that if we follow the precepts more deeply and be aware and mindful at all times, if we keep ourselves positive, meditate and follow the Dharma then we will crave less and therefore suffer less. Is being dissatisfied with current state of awareness a bad thing? Rejoice in your happiness when you are feeling it. Accept the sadness and be with it. Whether this is a cruel or beautiful world depends on your vision. Actions are determined by how you respond to how you feel.
“Circumstances such as illness or good fortune come and go, but what lingers with us are internal conditions. If we have peace of mind, we can weather through the rough patches, but guilt, hatred or depression will cloud the brightest day. A millionaire or a king can be beset with worry and mistrust, but a property-less monk can dwell in ease and fulfillment. Suffering and the cessation of suffering live in our minds and our hearts.” ~Theravadin monk Ajahn Sucitto
Next Time.. Karma and Rebirth.