MEDITATION MOTIVATION - A QUICK TOUR OF BUDDHISM AND 20 EASY TIPS TO CREATE A DAILY PRACTICE by Mia Randall
Genre: Non - Fiction, Buddhism, Health
"As humans, it is inevitable that we will experience what Buddhists call ‘Dhukka’ or ‘unsatisfactoriness’ at some points in our lives. It’s a fact of life – that life consists of suffering. Buddhists believe that there is a way out of suffering, but to find the way, we need first to understand suffering.
When I first encountered Buddhist ideas, that particular concept really put me off! I didn’t particularly want to have to think about suffering, to examine it and philosophise over it. Surely there were some nicer things to think about! After some time, however, it didn’t seem quite so depressing and actually started to make sense…
Dhukka is not only extreme suffering such as pain and grief. It can also be the minor sufferings that we all encounter on a daily basis - something as minor as missing the bus, or finding that we have no clean socks. We can’t get away from the fact that life consists of a great deal of suffering be it major or minor!
Buddha said: “I teach one thing and one only: suffering and the end of suffering” So what if there is a way out of this suffering? Well, there is – it’s through understanding that we create our own suffering and can therefore cease to create our own suffering. First, we have to understand the causes of our suffering.
Suffering is caused by clinging or craving on one hand and aversion on the other. An example of craving is thinking that we will be happy when we get our ideal job, or our dream house or car. I’m sure we have all been guilty of this! How happy we feel when we land our new job, but before long, we realise our co-workers are annoying and our boss too demanding. How elated we feel when we purchase our ‘dream’ car, then gradually, it gets scratched and dented and we notice a newer car that we want even more. The happiness obtained from getting ‘things’ is transitory and impermanent. To think that a lasting happiness can be gained from things outside ourselves is delusional because the happiness obtained is only momentary. Then the unsatisfactoriness sets in again and we crave for something else which we erroneously believe will make us happy again.
To step outside this cycle of craving and aversion, we need to control our minds. Desires (be they healthy of unhealthy) will still be present, but we learn not to be slaves to our desires. We can still notice our desires, but we don’t get carried away by them because we have developed an insight into the true nature of reality. Meditation is extremely useful (possibly essential) in developing this insight. Through meditation we can purify and concentrate the mind. We gradually reveal to ourselves the crazy merry-go-round ride of craving and aversion that we are stuck on.
Our mind can be likened to a cloudy pond. Meditation helps the silt of ignorance to settle, leaving a clear, tranquil pool, sharpening our intuition and concentration and revealing a deep understanding of the true nature of everything"
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