Actually, why am I so ignorant?
That’s the real question.
Ignorance, I am finding, is the cause of Samsara. Constantly grasping for worldly desires, is like rowing a boat with one oar in the water. You can keep putting in more and more effort, but you will only go in circles and get nowhere! This is my understanding of Samsara anyway. And please know that by worldly desires I mean even simple desires like happiness.
So what’s the answer to getting out of the constant cycle of suffering? This birth, death and rebirth.
And doesn’t birth, death and rebirth happen to us every day? The way I see it, it does. Not one of us is the same person that we were yesterday.
But back to the question of how do I get both oars in the water.
For me, I think it starts by examining my practice. I need to look at what I am doing with a clear awareness.
Sitting on a cushion in meditation does nothing. Studying the Dharma does nothing. Even honoring the Buddha does nothing. None of these things will guarantee my escape from this endless cycle of Dukkha.
I think that, to break the cycle, I need something called Sati. (Clicking on the word Sati will take you to a page with an article by the Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita that has a lot of information. There is so much good information on this page, I hope you will read it all. But the explanation for Sati is towards the end of the page.)
The point of this is that mindfulness has a much greater meaning than I had previously understood.
And without a better understanding of the depth and scope of mindfulness, the Triple Gem just becomes a new form of suffering. Another way to continue my endless cycle.
So now one could ask the question, “What to do?”.
Bhante Sujatha once responded to that question with “Who cares!”.
And I think I understand what he means. Do not push, do not pull, do not struggle. Just be.
I think this is part of what right effort means.
So this is what I will try to see more clearly now. With a deeper understanding of the word mindfulness, I will continue my practice. Perhaps I will find my other oar is in the water. And if I do, I will not cling to those oars or that boat, I will let them go also, so others may use them to find their way.
May you all be well, happy and peaceful.
Addendum: Also see Satipatthana