A high-sounding title, yes, I know it. But is my feeling, the feeling that comes to me after my daily meditation, after I was reflecting about suffering, a central concept in the Buddha’s teachings.
“Oh Bhikshus, there are four noble truths. They are the noble truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path to the cessation of suffering.”
Here suffering does not mean grave pain, but rather the mental suffering; Buddhist teach that our tendency to desire pleasure clashes with the fleeting nature of life and our experiences become unsatisfactory and ungovernable, causing us suffering.
This morning, after my short session of Hatha Yoga and Pranayama, sit down in my meditation room, soon in the morning, all in peace, out me and also within me, I put in front of my attention the question “why we suffer?”, and surprisingly for me the answer comes almost instantly:
All the suffering is product of mind, she create suffering and maintain it.
And then, the consequence come to my contemplative mind:
Pure awareness is not mind, is beyond mind, so is beyond suffering. Dwelling on pure awareness is to live free of suffering.
So simple! No mention about desires, clinging, grasping, hunger, and other possible sources of suffering that Buddhism explain and study. No attachment that we must overcome by years of practice. Is more simple. Is a matter of awareness, is to realize the substantial difference between thinking and be present without thinking, and learn to simply stay present, moving our sense of “I” from thoughts to pure awareness (or “the observer”). Then, all the obstacles pointed by Buddhism, like attachment, desires, etc, are overcome without effort, they simply vanishes, because they are created and sustained by the mind, and when the mind stops their thinking, when we disidentify or our thoughts, becoming only awareness, such sources of suffering lost their bearer, and vanishes.
Maybe, I don’t know, is only an idea, in times of Buddha the concept of become pure awareness beyond mind was too exotic, so the more secure way recommended by him was more complicated, was the eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi (samadhi: meditative absorption or union, a concept very similar to the union of Yoga tradition). I think in our modern times, humankind has a enough powerful consciousness, product of centuries of rational thinking, for reduce the eightfold path to a simpler dual path: right mindfulness, and right samadhi; here, samadhi means reflective meditation, a kind of meditation about we wrote something time ago in this blog. Of course, humans beings exists in a wide range of mental developing, so still there are people for the classic eightfold path is still the recommendable, but not for all the people were the best way. The dual path can be much more quick; we must be aware that almost nobody of the millions of Buddhist practitioners achieve samadhi in their lives, is a slow way.