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Buddhadharma : Spring 2015
spring 2 0 1 5 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 29 teaching that conflict has a cause, I began to ques- tion and discover the cause of suffering. The delusion of our life is that we tend to become fascinated by particular types of experi- ence. If I get angry at the bus being late, I think it’s the bus driver’s fault or it’s my problem. I’m always looking outside to figure out what the problem is, but I’m not looking at the anger itself. The teaching we use is one of being more objec- tive. We say, “Okay, this is an experience of anger, but that is something which arises and ceases. What’s causing the suffering here?” So we’re start- ing to detach from the seeming urgency and com- plexity and fascination of our experiences. In this process, it doesn’t matter what we’re angry at. What matters is that we look more deeply into these basic mental patterns in order to understand them. If we are willing to look into our conflicts, to really open our minds to them, then we can discover something. However, if we make a judgment that we should be someone who never has fear or anger and should always be bright and beautiful and charming, then when the opposite arises, we tend to try to push it away. There is no reflection. There is just some idea or expectation that we attach to, then frustration when this can’t be met. But if we look at it differently, we see that experience is just a process, and in that process there is something that we have to discover and take look at: we have to understand the cause of conflict. So it’s not the experience that is the problem. Lust is not the problem, fear is not the problem, boredom is not the problem. The problem is the attachment to these experiences. What does attachment really mean? Attachment is always bound up with a sense of “I.” Letting go is an acceptance of this moment the way it is. This is something that we have to discover. This is the path of insight. Your family, your job, your relationships— these can all be vehicles for spiritual understanding if you accept that within them there will be frustrations. © anke van Wyk | DREAMSTIME.COM