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Let no one deceive another or despise anyone anywhere, or through anger or resistance wish for another to suffer.

04 December 2009

Stirring leaves

Suffering flows from unsatisfactory conditions. Just as leaves respond to the stirring wind, so mind bends to the unsatisfactory turbulence of its condition. What does the world look like if all unsatisfactory conditions are removed? From moment to moment the untrained mind busily runs back to reinvent the past, or forward to anticipate the future. It never seems to fix on the moment it leaves behind. Yet it is only in the present moment that thought can be caught and trained to consider itself as a thought; as a fleeting, transient event, one among many, rising and passing in a continuous stream of anicca - impermanence. This is the heart of dhamma - the reality of the universe. This is the impermanent always. This is where the mind is brought to with the enduring and effective technique of anapana and vipassana meditation. The technique is not in any way an end in itself. The intention, the goal and the means is to simply look at the breath rising and falling in order to focus the mind until it is steady, straight, strong and settled. From the calm mind rises equanimity. Faced with the equanimous mind, suffering flees. Craving, aversion and ignorance fade. Dhamma prevails. This is not an intellectual or a philosophical pursuit, nor is it spiritual in the sense of being derived from any religious experience. Awareness in the mind is entirely derived from the  experiential understanding of the elemental, physical nature of the universe: namely that water floods, fire burns, air flows, earth smothers. In the body, moisture rises in tears, drool, sweat; the body burns; cooled by air, its heat dissipates; dusty earth dries on the skin, ready to be washed clean. The leaves on the trees experience this same elemental interaction. However, humans alone are the only beings fortunate enough to be able to deploy the particular consciousness needed to truly articulate this understanding of dhamma.This is our kamma, our debt, our inheritence, it is also our opportunity. Why be troubled by suffering? If, as the Buddha demonstrated, it is simply a matter of taking right action, then these elemental factors that bind us to suffering can be dissected, dissolved, put in their place and finally removed as obstacles to happiness.

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