All that is seen in the world is devoid of effort and action because all things in the world are like a dream, or like an image miraculously projected. This is not comprehended by the philosophers and the ignorant, but those who thus see things see them truthfully. Those who see things otherwise walk in discrimination and, as they depend upon discrimination, they cling to dualism. The world as seen by discrimination is like seeing one’s own image reflected in a mirror, or one’s shadow, or the moon reflected in water, or an echo heard in the valley. People grasping their own shadows of discrimination become attached to this thing and that thing and failing to abandon dualism they go on forever discriminating and thus never attain tranquillity. By tranquillity is meant Oneness, and Oneness gives birth to the highest Samadhi which is gained by entering into the realm of Noble Wisdom that is realisable only within one’s inmost consciousness. (The Lankavatara Sutra, from A Buddhist Bible, 1932, Copyright Not Renewed. http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/bb/index.htm)
What, O Monks, is the origin of suffering? It is that craving which gives rise to ever fresh rebirth and bound up with pleasure and lust, now here, now there, finds ever fresh delight. The Buddha (Digha-Nikaya XXII)
There is hope. There is a way out because:
Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation. (“Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion” (SN 56.11), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn56/sn56.011.than.html .)
The Food of Delusion
- Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): the particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
- Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): all kinds of thought related to wanting to reject, feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
- Sloth-and-torpor (thīna–middha): heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
- Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca–kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind.
- Doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.
“Whatever problems there are in the world
Are created by the afflictions in our own minds.
A mistaken attitude is a cause for the afflictions,
Yet the pattern of our thoughts can be refined”
(Jamgön Mipham Rinpoche as quoted in The Collected Works of Dilgo Khyentse, Volume 2, Shambhala Publications, Boston 2010).
The Problem’s Not Out There, The Solution’s Not Out There
Yeas ago, one of my mentors shared the title of this post with me. Then yesterday, in the latest book I’m reading by a Tibetan Buddhist lama, I read “…everything we experience, big and small, will always lead to disappointment because we perpetually forget that everything we perceive is a product of our own minds, and … we fixate on perceptions ‘out there’ that we are convinced truly exist” (Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, Not for Happiness, Shambhala Publications, Boston & London 2012).
1. Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
“Yamakavagga: Pairs” (Dhp I), translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.01.budd.html .
1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
3. ‘He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,’–in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.
4. ‘He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,’–in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.
5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
Greed, aversion, delusion destroy
the self-same person of evil mind
from whom they are born,
like the fruiting
of the bamboo. The Buddha (Itivuttaka 50)
- Greed: gluttony, hunger, longing, craving, selfishness
- Aversion: loathing, abhorrence, animosity, revulsion, hatred, antipathy
- Delusion: illusion, hallucination, fallacy, mirage, mistake
Buddhist scripture uses the word delusion to mean ‘not seeing things they way they are’, especially in regards to their empty nature.
I’m starting to feel and look older. Things are falling apart. Nothing is permanent. The following strikes a chord:
From “Jaravagga: Aging” (Dhp XI), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/dhp/dhp.11.than.html .