I have been intending to write about right view, but other things keep popping up. In a way this post is about right view, but I think it’s maybe a bit different from focusing on delusion. Instead it’s about focusing on suffering.
Personally, when I look back over the course of my life and I look at the suffering I have caused myself and caused others, I am not proud. Indeed I am humbled by it. I think a lot of time we ignore the suffering we are causing – both to ourselves and to others. Afterall, it is uncomfortable to think about it, especially when we like to think of ourselves as good people.
Looking at suffering is important because it points us to the causes of suffering:- desire, anger and delusion.
Our meditation practice is not just about entering a peaceful state of mind. More fundamentally it is about giving ourselves a head start to dealing with the causes of suffering. I say a head start because it still requires mindfulness and the development of compassion in our daily lives.
In meditation we put thoughts and seeking at bay. In doing so we give rise to bliss. A bliss that we learn to carry into our lives. Where does this bliss come from? Well, apparently it was always there. We just covered it up with longing and with thoughts.
But bliss is subtle and desires are habitual. So we need to recondition our minds to realising that we have been covering up bliss with desire and aversion. And we need to stay alive to the fact that desire leads to suffering. In other words we need to work on the delusion that desire leads to permanent happiness.
We also need to see that the happiness that comes from attachment to pleasure and aversion to pain actually is fleeting and see the real cause of the happiness when we get what we want is that we have momentarily stopped wanting. And well, that’s partly what our meditation practice is about.