A problem

3 February 2024
Posted in Vipassana
3 February 2024 nishantgathwal@gmail.com

I have recently been contemplating how life can unexpectedly present challenges at any given moment. Regardless of our path, the hustle and bustle of daily problems can throw us off track when they become overwhelming.

In fact, I’ve been reflecting extensively on the inevitability of facing problems on any chosen path and the necessity to endure each one to make progress. But is that all there is to it? Why do problems exist in the first place? Is this the intended experience by nature?

Consider this: whether we walk the positive or negative side (depending on our perspective) of life, new problems consistently arise. Decisions or not, problems persist. In moments of disheartenment or disillusionment, we may make wrong decisions to escape problems, creating a false perception of rest or space. I’ve minimized this tendency, but it does happen, as I’ve experienced.

Recently, while driving to my office, I realized that since becoming more aware of my emotional states’ patterns, problems seem to lead to sadness. So, yes, sadness (dukkha) is an inherent part of life, and accepting it is crucial.

This led to a sudden realization similar to what Buddha conveyed in the Three Arya Satyas (Noble Truths). The first noble truth is the existence of Dukkha. Recall the story where Buddha witnessed 4 signs before renouncing his kingly life:

1. Seeing an ill person
2. Seeing an old person
3. Seeing people carrying a dead body

4. A monk in meditation under a tree

Dukkha exists in all life forms, driven by our habits of craving and aversion. In the process, there is no peace. This seemingly simple statement requires a lifetime of experiential, objective observation to fully understand.

Knowing it intellectually isn’t enough; it must be realized and experienced in our lives to derive meaning from it. Buddha then offered the remaining noble truths, presenting a solution and how it can be cured.

It’s fascinating how much I think about these teachings and reflect on them. Sometimes, the teachings click like never before, leading to a substantial devotion to their pure practicality in daily life.

Happy day!

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