Fascination for our Mental Suffering

Buddhism now

Seated Buddha, Sakyamuni, China, Shanxi province, Tianlongshan, early 8th century, © Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler MuseumWe hear and read that we should look inside. We suffer, we are stuck in some kind of pain, mostly mental — mental torment, mental pain — and the dharma, the wisdom-path emphasises how necessary, how crucial, it is to look inside. And that is different from always looking outside which is much more common. We tend to find faults here and there but not look at the roots inside. So we like this idea, after some hesitation maybe, ‘Ah looking inside, yeah!’ After some enthusiasm, however, we might find that it’s not that easy. We might still be convinced that we should look inside, but we keep looking outside.

Now, a simple reflection can help, at least it did in my case. And very simply it’s this: all the causes of suffering — mental causes with their vast ramifications — are inevitably impinging upon our relationship to meditation. It is not that there is ambivalence, mistrust…

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