Having studied the dhamma for over ten years, and writing this blog for so many months now, one would think I have a clear grasp on the First Noble Truth.
Last night, I awoke to the reality that I have barely begun to understand.
For those who do not know, the First Noble Truth is “There is suffering”.
And as much as I thought I understood, it just hit me that if I truly understood, then I would not be so upset when I suffer. But I usually hate it when I’m suffering!
So I think that I get the concept, but I have not truly accepted the reality of this.
I am fully aware that many people do not want to hear more talk about suffering. It seems far too negative, and perhaps even turns some people away from Buddhist practice.
But actually, this truth is liberating once you understand it better.
Lets just look at a very basic reality, the imminent decay and aging of our bodies and then ultimately resulting in our death.
I know, you are thinking how depressing this is and you may even want to stop reading right here. But please don’t.
Just ask yourself if this is the truth. Is it reality? Of course it is.
Now if you can see that you have an aversion to this reality, you are beginning to understand the First Noble Truth.
What if we could talk about this here, and you would be smiling about it? Accepting the truth, enjoying the moment, simply and completely being present in the moment. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? It makes me smile just thinking about it.
I think the First Noble Truth is all about being present.
How much each of us miss by clinging to ideas, and aversion to others. And it doesn’t have to be that way.
Just do a simple checklist in your mind. A. There is suffering. B. Enjoy the moment. Easy!
Well, obviously it is not that easy for me, or I would not be writing about it now. But I do see that it’s my own fault for making it more difficult.
I believe this is because I have been attempting to understand this on an intellectual level. And I must understand on a deeper level, one that is beyond simply thinking and feeling.
So this is why I practice, to go beyond the superficial and often delusional state of my current existence.
And while I am far from achieving this awakening, I truly enjoy my practice. I enjoy this life, the lessons, and I’m even learning to enjoy the suffering (a little).
Be happy for this moment. Smile. Be present.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.