[1.52] The First Noble Truth – The Truth Of Suffering

Posted on June 7, 2011

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What do you, an ant, Queen Elizabeth, a tramp and myself have in common? We all suffer.

Everybody suffers. From those in the most desperate of situations, to the most privileged on earth, everybody everywhere suffers.

This, the Truth of Suffering, was an observation made by the historical Buddha.

Let’s think about it for a short moment. Suffering is something we don’t usually want to hear about and as soon as we experience any form of suffering, from the tiniest unpleasant feeling to the most fatal of diseases, we try our hardest to get rid of or suppress it. We always prefer the beautiful, happy, youthful side of life, while the ugly parts, such as old age, sickness, death, poverty, and depression are pushed aside.

But you don’t have to stoop to the depths of depression, or experience a terrible illness, or go through a holocaust to know that suffering exists. And yet, we ignore it, and carry on with our daily lives. All of a sudden it a loved one dies and it hits us; ‘oh yeah, suffering . . .’ we say.

The actual word used in Pali is ‘dukkha’, which means ‘incapable of satisfying’ – and this is what the Buddha used to describe our existence. What do you think? We are born, we age, we get sick, we die. We constantly meet with experiences we don’t want, and we don’t meet the experiences we do want. Things change all around us as our friends leave or die, relationships break up, our new computer breaks. And in between all of that, we toil away endlessly trying to find a way out of suffering through food, clothes, love, relationships, new gadgets, and the list goes on.

And for what?! Are we happy yet?

 

Matt

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