Overcoming Dukkha

Resin Buddha III (PJL 10-2014) [SAM_8860_1_2_fused]

 

Realising that all is impermanent and nothing whatsoever should be craved, the Buddha was able to overcome dukkha (angst, inner turmoil… etc.) by letting go experiences and opinions and thoughts of ‘self’ and ‘world’…

 

 


 

Overcoming Dukkha

Realising that all is impermanent and nothing whatsoever should be craved, the Buddha was able to overcome dukkha (angst, inner turmoil… etc.) by letting go experiences and opinions and rationalisations of ‘self’ and ‘world’.

The Buddha urged his disciples to cultivate constant impermanence awareness through mindful observation of body and mind –

          “There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering and able to call to mind even things that were done and said long ago… He remains focused on the body in and of itself — ardent, alert, and mindful — putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in and of themselves… the mind in and of itself… mental qualities in and of themselves — ardent, alert, and mindful — putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world.” — SN 48.10 [1]

 

Focusing attention exclusively on the breathing process, for example, has a calming effect but also develops the ability to remain objective and tolerant whenever thoughts, emotions and physical sensations come to mind and eventually disappear in response to sensory stimulation. When impermanent phenomena are recognized for what they really are, letting them go can happen quite naturally there and then.

A consequence of impermanence awareness is that one’s motivation for action leans more towards compassion and less towards the cravings and aversions that normally arise from deluded attachments. At the very least one may know contentment when mindful enough to appreciate life unfolding seamlessly, here and now, without wishing for it to be otherwise.

 

Resin Buddha III

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Notes

[1]  “Mindfulness Defined”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 1 December 2012.
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/mindfulnessdefined.html>

Additional Reading

“The Foundations of Mindfulness: Satipatthana Sutta”, translated by Nyanasatta Thera. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013,
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanasatta/wheel019.html>

“The Agendas of Mindfulness”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 5 June 2010,
<http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/agendas.html>

Image Credit: ‘Resin Buddha III’ by PJL 2014

 



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