Understanding that life is suffering

“Just like the one who dowses himself with water again and again but must each time re-enter the fire again, so they consider themselves fortunate, though they are also extremely wretched. As people live like this, pretending they will not grow old or die, horrific misfortunes approach, with death the foremost of them” (132)

One of the central teachings which have gained from this class is that life is filled with immense suffering due to the impermanence of all things and the fact that people try to cling onto that which they think is permanent which ends up hurting them in the end.

In the wake of the drastic changes in routine and life which I find myself in now, I have begun to realize my own attachment to the normality which my life had just a few months prior, and I find that wishing to go back to that time is what is causing me the most suffering.

Only by beginning the process of acceptance and embracing the idea that life is full of change and that horrific misfortunes will happen to me as well as understanding that the current way I live my life is dooming me to a type of inevitable suffering does it seem that I can begin to take the first steps into truly leaving the fire and understanding the teachings on emptiness and no self.

One thought on “Understanding that life is suffering”

  1. Akash, I, too, find myself attached to the “normal” life we once lived—unscathed by COVID-19— and I had not pinpointed this attachment as the origin of some of my suffering. I agree that suffering is a way of life, but I find with a greater understanding of our suffering, it begins to dissipate. Recognizing that my disappointment now is due to my attachment of the past, I find that I can better reorient my perspective. I feel—to a degree— a relief from suffering.

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