gave his dharma to
awaken into enlightenment.
awaken one must only pay attention to
way. Continually feeling gratitude and
in one's present existence brings
Three Marks of
(three basic truths about the condition of
Anicca (Sanskrit anitya) defined as "impermanence".
Dukkha (Sanskrit duhkha) defined as "suffering".
Anatta (Sanskrit anatman) defined as "egolessness".
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but
it is the journey that
matters, in the end." - Ursula K. LeGuin
you suffer, it is not because things are
because you believe things are permanent.
Remaining aware of impermanence you
become compassionate and wise.
Impermanence is an instrument for
It is safe
to enjoy what is around you and within you as long as you are aware of its
nature of impermanence.
When you are
thirsty, there is nothing wrong in enjoying a glass of water.
fact, to truly enjoy it, you have to dwell in the present moment.
When a flower dies, we don't cry.
We know it is impermanent.
If we practice
awareness of the nature of
impermanence, we will suffer less and enjoy life more.
we know things are impermanent, we
cherish them in the present
We know that our loved
ones are of an impermanent nature, so we do our best to make them happy Correct
now." - Thich Nhat Hanh
The first mark of existence,
impermanence, points to the simple reality that everything - every thought,
emotion, relationship, or situation - everything that has a beginning, also has
Nothing with a
beginning is permanent.
In the search for happiness we pay little
attention to impermanence.
we examine our
motivation we find that we are always attempting to
hold onto what we adore and get
rid of what we abhor.
If our situation is acceptable we typically
feel secure and comfortable.
betrayed by individuals with which we
have relationships or by life itself when or if things change in a manner
we didn't want or expect.
We feel situational circumstances are
preventing us from being happy.
Every moment brings arising thoughts and
feelings and then they fall away.
The simple truth is that the only
certainty following gain is eventual loss.
The happiness or joy we expect to
experience in life cannot depend on holding onto gain if it is to be a
true sustainable gain.
True sustainable gain we need to find
age, we become sick, we die. Pain is unavoidable.
When we refuse to embrace emotional
pain, we unwittingly screen
out a large range of emotional experiences that occur in the process of
A person who is truly
alive will feel sorrow
so because of the amount of unnecessary
suffering produced by the imperfection of social
arrangements and because of the reality of existence.
Sentient beings are aware of the
gap between aspirations and
In this light we understand emotional pain
tend to believe that the opposite of feeling good is not feeling bad.
ourselves from not feeling bad we condition ourselves to not feel.
pain, open heart wounds, is
where compassion is born.
In Sanskrit awakened compassion is
called Boddhicitta or Awakened Heart.
All we have to do is
allow the natural empathic response to
fill the horizon.
"When we take a step on the green earth,
are aware that we are made of air, sunshine,
minerals, and water, that we are a
child of earth and sky,
linked to all other beings." - Thich Nhat
There is a moment to moment
recognition of egoic needs caused by the struggle to stay content by holding
onto that which we adore and attempting to prevent that which we
perpetuate our emotional suffering by believing that we are a fixed entity who
needs to be saved, protected, and freed from emotional suffering.
Emotional suffering will persist as long
as we avoid at all costs the fear at the heart of it -
we may not be saved or protected and may
experience the fear directly we
attempt to dismantle the fear by con-vincing ourselves that the fear is
unjustified - that we will be protected,
freed from emotional
People are terrified that
they may be unable to tolerate a
reality that they have so
very little control over - the culture,
the course of
two stages of
First stage of egolessness is characterized by recognition
of "the Observer" -
a recognition of emotional
detachment from passing thoughts and feelings.
Second stage of
egolessness the notion of "Observer" is
dropped as there is no longer to detach from
the face of the awesome power of what
We experience life "vividly" by
direct immersion in the process of living.
a practice of living based on direct and
tolerate a tremendous range of emotion, and ultimately we must.
This understanding marks
the transition from using spiritual knowledge as a
remedy emotional suffering to develope the courage to experience life as it
When we imagine what
spiritual awakening must be like we tend to imagine
a dramatically relieving
More often what usually
occurs is a humbling, a wearing down of the ego.
When we acknowledge
that we are in emotional pain and simultaneously acknowledge that we are whole,
we become available to others and
are able to meet them compassionately.
Great emotional pain creates
great tenderness leaving the ego peeled raw reminding us to let go of a need to
control things which are beyond control.
Great emotional pain is not
punishment for being bad.
This is a potent
opportunity to have hearts
open up and burn with fire.
we can tolerate more
emotional pain than we imagined possible
we find a previously unrealized
depth and breadth of being.
in brief, these are seven amalgamates of
the origin of suffering
the cessation of suffering
cessation of desire
freedom from desire
nonreliance on desire
Correct understanding: Understanding the Four Noble Truths.
Correct thought: Determining and resolving to practice Buddhist faith.
Correct speech: Abstaining from slander, gossip,
and all untrue speech.
Correct conduct: Adherence to nonviolence (ahimsa).
Correct livelihood: Not engaging
in activity that violates life.
Correct mental attitude: Bypassing
combustible thoughts and emotions.
mindfulness: A clear sense of mental
state and bodily health.
Meditation to reach the
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encouraged to develop a personal relation with the Creator and Sustainer
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