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Showing posts from July 7, 2014

spiritual isolation (transcript of a talk given January 2011)

Everything the Buddha taught boiled down to, in his words, ‘Suffering and the end of suffering.’  He wanted people to understand what suffering is, what causes it, and to provide tools necessary to limit all the needless stress we’re adding to life. After all, we wind up with enough challenges with a human birth, receiving what the Buddha called that the first noble truth: we're going to grow old, experience sickness and and death, we’ll know loss, separation, disappointment, sorrow, lamentation, despair.  All these things happen to everyone;  in life shit hits the fan. The Buddha also referred to such experiences as the first arrows.  
But the goal is, when we are suffering, not to increase our misery by adding more emotional pain and mental agitation to the mix.  For example, using the old example of when we stub our toe: there is the pain, but also the stuff that we add on top of it: we may focus excessively on the pain without being aware of other parts of the body that aren’t …