Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Knowable Truths, Part 3

The Truth of the Origin of Suffering

Now that you are able to know when you are suffering (and if you aren't able to know, see yesterday's blog for help), you can begin to utilize the Second Knowable Truth: The Truth of the Origin Of Suffering. Remembering that suffering is "wanting things to be other than the way they are," and that this definition means that we must be clinging to something, we can begin to investigate the origins of our suffering.

I have heard that my Grandteacher, The Venerable Ajahn Cha, used to sidle up to the monks in his monastery while they were working or doing walking meditation, and ask them, "Are you suffering, today?" If they told him they were, he would answer, "Hmmm... Then you must be very attached," and then he would just walk away, leaving the monk to investigate the origins of his or her suffering on their own.

It's really very simple: If you know you are suffering, you can know you are clinging to something (or in aversion toward something else). During your vipassana practice and in your daily life, when you encounter these feelings of dissatisfaction or the sense of self arising as thoughts of "I, me, or mine," say to yourself, "There is suffering, and the knowing of it, and there is clinging, and the knowing of it."

Stay tuned for the good news of the Third Knowable Truth: The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering.



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