Tagged with: suffering

As the Buddhist view has consistently demonstrated, it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening. To work something through means to change one’s view; if we try instead to change the emotion, we may achieve some short-term success, but we remain bound by forces of attachment and an aversion to the very feelings from which we are struggling to be free.

As the Buddhist view has consistently demonstrated, it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening. To work something through means to change one’s view; if we try instead to change the emotion, we may achieve some short-term success, but we remain bound by forces of attachment and an aversion to the very feelings from which we are struggling to be free.

There is more to desire than just suffering. There is a yearning in desire that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can.

As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.” The left-handed path means opening to desire so that it becomes more than just a craving for whatever the culture has conditioned us to want. Desire is a teacher: when we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.

There is more to desire than just suffering. There is a yearning in desire that is as spiritual as it is sensual. Even when it degenerates into addiction, there is something salvageable from the original impulse that can only be described as sacred. Something in the person wants to be free, and it seeks its freedom any way it can.

As the well-known contemporary Indian teacher Sri Nisargadatta, famous for sitting on a crowded street corner selling inexpensive bidis, or Indian cigarettes, once commented, “The problem is not desire. It’s that your desires are too small.” The left-handed path means opening to desire so that it becomes more than just a craving for whatever the culture has conditioned us to want. Desire is a teacher: when we immerse ourselves in it without guilt, shame, or clinging, it can show us something special about our own minds that allows us to embrace life fully.

I can see how there’s an aspect of ignorance that is bliss but to me it’s more of a limitation than anything else. The flip side is much more blissful in my eyes. An examined life leads to greater awareness and greater awareness leads to more options and better choices and choice gives us greater possibility. All of this gives us a constantly expanding view of the world and ourselves… and expansion is quite possibly the core characteristic of the universe itself. Sure, there’s some pain and complication that may come along with the greater complexity but it’s a small price to pay. Ignorance is basically the choice to ignore reality and navigating around in the world ignoring what’s really happening will likely lead to unnecessary suffering. Dig deeper, get in alignment with the universe and bliss is sure to follow.

I can see how there’s an aspect of ignorance that is bliss but to me it’s more of a limitation than anything else. The flip side is much more blissful in my eyes. An examined life leads to greater awareness and greater awareness leads to more options and better choices and choice gives us greater possibility. All of this gives us a constantly expanding view of the world and ourselves… and expansion is quite possibly the core characteristic of the universe itself. Sure, there’s some pain and complication that may come along with the greater complexity but it’s a small price to pay. Ignorance is basically the choice to ignore reality and navigating around in the world ignoring what’s really happening will likely lead to unnecessary suffering. Dig deeper, get in alignment with the universe and bliss is sure to follow.

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life.

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earthdrop
Now is the Time

Do you live as though you have all the time in the world? Having all the time in the world is an illusion. You never know what might happen—an accident, an illness, or a disaster. If you only had moments to live, would you change your priorities? What would you do? Where would you go? How you would interact with your family, friends, loved ones—even strangers? But truly: Why are you not doing these things now?

- Arnie Kozak

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