Suffering and it’s end

I just remembered my Philosophy classes, especially on Ethics. My teacher discussed us about great philosophers. On of my favorite was Plato, but this time I’m not going to talk about him, I’m going to talk about Buddha instead.

Why him? What about him?

The Enlightened One

Two thousand five hundred years ago, Queen Maya gave birth to a child named Gautama Buddha, the enlightened one. Gautama Buddha was said to be in the Prophesy, that he would be the enlightened one and a far greater King than anyone in the land. And so his father became jealous and decided to keep the child inside the palace until he dies. Though Buddha lived in confinement inside their colossal palace, he was the first time to have understood what suffering really is. While her mother and his father the King kept Buddha safe inside the palace, he was curious as to what’s outside the Royal walls and decided to see for himself. Initially, his parents refused his desire. But Budhha was uncompromising, and he went out. While outside the walls, he saw youth no more, but old age among people.

Prophecies have conditions before they happen. There were 3 things, some says 4 to confirm if the prophecy was true or not. One is for Buddha to see a dead man (a corpse), a sick man (a terminally ill), and an Acetic monk (someone who practices extreme poverty), and last is an old man. Books say he all saw the conditions.

After he saw that Acetic monk, he became one of them and practiced poverty, but years later Buddha decided to separate from the them because he couldn’t find what he was looking for. So he was on his own and one day he sat under a bow tree, stayed there and overnight he found enlightenment. His ministry started from then on. Progressively over the years, Buddhism became a religion, not just a religion but also one the greatest and strongest religion in the world with about billions of zillions of followers all over the globe.

The Four Noble Truths

The original Buddhism was known for Gautama Buddha’s the four noble truths. One is that suffering is in the world. Second, there is a cause of suffering. Third, there is a cessation of suffering, and lastly, the eight-fold path is the way to end suffering.

Obviously, suffering is in the world. The Philippines and other poor countries are suffering from poverty. It’s so ironic how my parents tell me that we are poor, when there are those who are less fortunate than we are. I am not saying that we are rich because we aren’t. We don’t have a mansion like those rich people have, we don’t have a pool in our backyard, nor do we have many cars, we only have one, and this one’s really cheap car. If I were living in the states right now with this condition, I am very poor, but here in the Philippines, we belong to the middle class, like majority of Filipinos are.

Samsara and karma are Buddhist doctrines. One cause of suffering is what we call samsara, which is the cycle of birth or Reincarnation in the Hindu religion. Another is karma, which we know as “what you reap is what you sow” or if you’re familiar with Alicia Key’s Karma with the line “what goes around, comes around.” Buddhists believe that when a person does well in his life, he will be replayed with a happy reincarnation. He will be blessed in his or her second life. If does bad things to his people, he will reincarnate into insects like roaches, flies and other creatures lower than a human being. So, my advice to you is to stop biting people’s back, and start a new.

Suffering has an end. Buddhists has a doctrine called anata, or “no self, ” that individuals have no soul or ego, and that we do not exist. The way to enlightenment is to loose thy self from five aggregates, body, feelings, impulses, consciousness, and perceptions. This is what we call “nothingness.” I think this idea is one of the bases of meditation.

Now I would like to share my past experiences with meditation. I attempted to meditate twice on the row, but I wasn’t successful with it that it ended me sleeping because I lost all my energy. The basic idea of meditation is that you loose your senses, and your mind does the work, which is contrary to Gestaltist Friderick “Fritz” Perl’s “loose your mind, come to your senses.” Well, anyways, after loosing your senses in mediation, and after your body has relaxed, you have to send all energies (including negative energies) away from your body, and take in the energy that nature has provided for you. This is the rationale behind why Buddhists and even some yogists do mediation outdoors or near nature. So, after I lost all my energy, I failed to absorb a new energy so when I opened my eyes, I felt so tired that all I wanted was to sleep to restore my energy. Then I knew the meditation was unsuccessful. I did it again the next day and was still unsuccessful. I realized that I haven’t mastered the art of “loosing one’s self” yet, and that I was not yet ready for it. Just like introspection needs to be mastered before undergoing Wundt’s experiments, meditation needs to be mastered as well.

The Eight-Fold Path

Furthermore, the only way to cease suffering is by following the Eight-fold truth, according to Buddha. The first one is the Right View, which refers to the right understanding of the four noble truth. Next is the Right Effort, which says we shouldn’t rush our actions and do things slow but surely, and that without effort, nothing can be achieved. Right Speech, we must not curse or say bad things against anybody, and not lie to anyone. Right Action, refers to doing what is right, like not stealing or cheating. Right Livelihood, refers to avoid occupations that bring about bad things like swindling, corruption, scamming, stealing or snatching people’s possessions. Right Aspiration or Resolve refers to our hopes and dreams. Second to the last is Right Concentration, refers to calm thinking, just like in meditation. And last, but definitely not the least is, Right Consciousness, which means silence and avoiding unnecessary thoughts.

Moderation and Nirvana

All these truths lead anyone to the right path called the middle path, which is the path of moderation. Take things moderately is the basic truth in all these doctrines because moderation is moral discipline, extremities can be deadly. Extreme love or hate are deadly. Extreme jealousy is too. Buddhists follow all these for one goal that is to enter the gates of heaven, or bliss, or the point of no return called Nirvana.

Although I have my own criticisms on a few of these ideas, I think they would certainly help people to change to the better, and change for themselves and not for others.

That was educational, wasn’t it? See, my brain remembers things selectively—things I want to remember, and does the opposite on things or events that are insignificant to me.

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  1. try to read many times as you can THINGS WHAT THE BUDDHA TAUGHT by WALPOLA RAHULA. You should understand much much more. This book is very very precise for beginner and if you still find the Buddhist teaching questionable – read many more times…could be whole life just to understand the basic.

    Some monastery give this small book for free otherwise is inexpensive available at many bookstores.

    3 ways you should be aware of when you read:

    1. read and understand
    2. contemplate and get it entrenched
    3. meditate, if you can

    Once you go into meditation and sleep is because you are “lazy”. So, just this exercise alone may take you several months to determine whether I am just accusing you or that’s not.

    If you still do not understand why you are “lazy” meaning you are not learning much about yourself.

    Lastly, buddhist do not “forget” or “lose” themselves into “nothingness or emptiness”. Yo uwill find YourSelf after

    There’s emptiness and there’s also “form”. What’s “form” ?

    Happy learning !

  2. Thanks Charles. I admit I only learn this lesson from my teacher, and I would definitely wanna try again, but before that I should get to know the basics first or at least try to see if I am that lazy. lol

    Thanks again. I would definitely check on the book.

  3. Chris

    Try also reading ‘A New Earth. Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’ by Echhart Tolle. It talks on self and Ego. It really has helped me to see that “I” and “Ego” are two seperate things and to allow me to remove “Ego” from who I am. The author ties the concept into today and what is going on in the world. He makes reference to sayings in many religions that all seem to relate back to the ideas around ego and self. I was amazed at how many things in the book rang true to me and how I try to attach my “ego” as my identity.

    Hope this gives you a sense of self like it has for me or in the least gives you a different view on anata.

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  1. 1 Spirituality and Psychology « @jeelchristine

    […] Eastern religions call this “Great Awakening” and/or “Enlightenment“ […]




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