The genius of the Buddha’s message at its heart is that we are ultimately creatures of perfection. Or, perhaps one might restate this in a manner devoid of duality, by saying… We are creatures, as we are… The concept is that we are already whole and bear the Buddha Nature within; there is nothing wrong with us. It is simply through the years of accumulating the Three Poisons of attachment, aversion, and ignorance (all which reinforce each other) that we cover and lose sight of and contact with this original pure form; by accumulating this junk we block our inherent happiness that is naturally ours. The delusion is that we simply don’t see this realization and too easily run after the thoughts in our mind as truth.
A host of other myths and culture proclaim that our beginning state of being is one of evil, or deficiency, or any other such form; and that only by way of some ritual or submission to a deity will we ever hope to achieve perfection.
When faced with these two very simple and subtle approaches of thought toward the human condition, I find myself overjoyed with the genius of the Buddha’s simple observation: the initial ground base of wholeness, and the hope and ease of letting our accumulated poisons go. What good news this is!
Breaking down segments of my reading from:
The Long Discourse on the Ways of Attending to Mindfulness (Mahāsatipaṭṭhānasuttaṁ, DN 22), Translated by Anandajoti Bhikkhu (3rd revised version, October 2011 – 2055)
I have created a series of charts for comparison and understanding of the Buddha’s words on The Four Noble Truths. You can find my abridged version of this text (as it pertains to my chart) here.
The Truths are:
- The Truth of Suffering (or a better way to think of this word is unhappiness or inability to achieve and sustain satisfactoriness.)
- The Truth of Origination of Suffering
- The Truth of Cessation of Suffering
- The Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering
Chart of Constituents and the Origination and Cessation of Suffering illustrates:
- At the basis of the suffering are the Five Constituents, which are the Fuel for Attachment.
- These are: form, feelings, perceptions, mental processes, and consciousness
- Based upon these Constituents, we can derive both the Truth of Origination and Cessation.
- These are located and found at certain points of contact: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind.
- For example; from eye comes form, comes eye-consciousness and eye-contact, comes the feeling born of eye-contact, comes the perception of forms, comes the intention in regard to forms, comes the craving for forms, comes the thinking about forms, comes an examination of forms.
- Likewise, similar patterns follow at each of the other points of contact.
- Origination is the arising of Craving at these centers. Cessation is the complete fading away without reminder of the Craving at these centers.
- The beauty of recognizing the step-by-step nature of craving and cessation of craving at any given point at these centers, is to realize that at any given point within the process of grasping can the power of acknowledgment and cessation begin.
The second chart, the Eight Factors of the Truth of the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering, illustrates the following:
- What is commonly known as the Eightfold Path.
- Right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavour, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
- Within the topic of Right Concentration falls the Four Absorptions:
- First: one is secluded from sense desires and unwholesome things, while having thinking, reflection, and joy
- Second: Calmed down thinking/reflection, without thinking, reflection, and joy
- Third: The fading away of joy; dwelling as equanimous, mindful, fully aware, and happy.
- Fourth: Abandonment of pleasure and pain; the previous passing away of happiness and sorrow; the purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity.
Engage joyfully in your meditation today, study and observe your mind, at all of its various points of grasping — whether for attachment or for aversion — and observe the beauty of the step-by-step unfolding of the Path.