This is a guided meditation with Buddhist nun Ayya Khema on how to investigate the nature of dukkha (dissatisfaction, stress, suffering). Here Ayya Khema guides listeners to investigate how unwholesome and repetitive negative states arise from either wanting (grasping) or not wanting (rejecting) the moment and how to dis-identify and abandon them.
All of the Buddha’s teachings have to be understood in light of their primary
purpose, which is to solve a single problem: the problem of dukkha (stress,
suffering). Other issues are treated only as they relate to solving this problem. .
‘Both formerly and now, Anuradha, it’s only stress that I describe, and
the cessation of stress.’
— SN 22:86
“The cessation of stress,” here, does not refer to the simple passing away of
individual instances of stress, which happens all the time. Instead, it refers to the
total ending of stress, an attainment that can be reached only through a path of
practice aimed at fostering dispassion for the origination or cause of stress.
From the Dhamma Cakka Sutta (Setting in Motion the Wheel of Dhamma)
The Four Noble Truths
1: The Truth of dukkha
Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of dukkha: birth is dukkha; ageing is dukkha; and death is dukkha; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief and despair are dukkha; association with the unloved is dukkha; separation from the loved is dukkha; not attaining one’s wishes is dukkha; in brief, the five categories of the grasping mind are dukkha.
2: The Origin of dukkha
Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of the origin of dukkha: it is the craving (tanha) that conditions renewal of being, which is accompanied by passionate pleasure, and takes delight in this and that object: namely, sensual craving; craving to become; craving for annihilation.
3: The Ending of dukkha
Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of the cessation of dukkha: it is the complete and passionless cessation (nirodha) of that craving; giving it up, abandoning it, being released and detached from it.
4: The Path to end dukkha
Now this, monks, is the Noble Truth of the way (magga) leading to the cessation of dukkha: it is this – the Noble Eightfold Path, namely: right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
The meaning of the word dukkha explained:
The Attadiipaa Sutta: An Island to Oneself:
“If the whole universe can be found in our own body and mind, this is where we need to make our inquires. We all have the answers within ourselves, we just have not got in touch with them yet. The potential of finding the truth within requires faith in ourselves.”
~ Ayya Khema
May all beings liberate themselves and be free of dukkha.
The gift of the Dhamma excels all gifts;
The taste of the Dhamma excels all tastes;
Delight in the Dhamma excels all delights.
The eradication of Craving overcomes all sorrow.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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