It is through not understanding, not realising four things that I, as well as you, had to wander so long through this round of rebirths.
And what are those four things?
They are: The Noble Truth of Suffering....
the Origin of Suffering...
the Extinction of Suffering...
the Path that leads to the Extinction of Suffering.
Digha Nikaya 16
|In a sense the Buddha's teachings on Right View and Suffering bring us to a point concerning which there can be no room for debate. The answer is always apparent to the discerning eye: 'Do I feel a sense of tension? What's it about? Where's the investment , the clinging?' Once this work of the heart has been done, there is the opportunity to undertake the next step - to stop clinging, to let go of the attachment to the particular view, method, identity that we have invested in.|
From the time of birth until now we have each had innumerable opportunities to develop our own views or to adopt the views of a particular group to which we may be affiliated. We're all familiar with the tendency to fixate of some particular 'party line', e.g., 'Samatha (the practices that emphasise calm) is not necessary, it's vipassana (insight practice) that is important for liberation' - or the reverse; or, 'No need to study the scriptures , you can learn everything from Nature', or, It's vital to build a foundation for practice through studying the scriptures, otherwise there can be no real progress in practice'. As a result of such a fixation, either we can end up totally confused if we try to allow any kind of acknowledgement of the validity of another approach ; or even more firmly entrenched in our own 'party line' - thereby eliminating the possibility of experiencing another way of practice that could perhaps in fact be more suitable for us at that time - such a shame.
So, how do we find the middle, the way between these extremes? The answer is, of course, 'Mindfulness'; mindfulness of our own confusion or reactivity - the tension or distress, in short, the dukkha of the moment. This leap of faith, whereby we relinquish our trust in the conditioned thought process and bring our awareness right into the moment, allows us to witness the insecurity or fear that keeps us bound, identified with our view point. With practice our sense of Refuge grows stronger, and we know that clinging to any view point or identity is a very precarious form of security. When that Refuge becomes instinctive, we can avoid those things that keep us bound and helplessly wandering in search of what can never be.