Compassion: Freeing Ourselves from the Underlying Causes of Suffering (Attachment/Craving)

05 Jun 2010

In this afternoon practice, we focused not so much on the blatant form of suffering as we did yesterday, but on the underlying causes. In the introduction, Alan reflects on how little we really know about suffering in modernity, and how we build our hapiness on very weak foundations of delusion, attachment, and craving. Even if we have good luck and we are hedonically happy, the foundation of that happiness is just a time bomb, and sooner or later it will go off and we will suffer.

In this meditation, we experiment with cultivating compassion first for ourselves, freeing ourselves of attachment and craving. These afflictions are terribly deceiving, because they seem pleasant, get us hooked, and never fail to dissapoint. As always, we then expand this yearning to include all beings, and keep breaking down the barriers for our Four Immesaurables.

After the meditation Alan pulled one of his amazing acts and and brilliantly summarized pretty much all of Buddhist philosophy in 45 minutes. I took this out and it will be the seasoning for tomorrow’s sunday Bonus.

This still was given to me by David Cherniack (expect more great stills from him in this last week), and it sort of looks like the mirages that appear on pavement sometimes. They look like water, but when you get closer they never fail to dissapear. (Yes I know that the still is actually real water from our monsoon here, just trying to be imaginative!)

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