Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2 ond noble truth

Second noble truth
There is a reason for suffering and that is: craving to wanting, clinging on desires.
The reason for suffering has to be given up.
The reason for suffering is given up.
If one reads the suttas carefully, one can find that the Buddha made these 3 phases, 3 steps of progress for each of the noble truth. For example in the Dhamma-cakka-ppavattana-sutta. I was ignorant enough for many, many years and didn’t read carefully, I just skipped some lines which seemed to similar to read them entirely. Shameful I noticed my error some weeks ago and am glad that I have the chance to understand the 4 noble truth better now.
What is meant, or better what I understand is the following:
There are 3 kinds of wanting (craving, clinging, attachment).
The wanting of (the desire for, the attachment to) sensual pleasures, kama tanha. For example wanting tasty food; liking a certain smell; desire for touching and being touched and caressed; hoping to see something beautiful; daydreaming of meeting a beloved one, loving a certain music …
Sure, one needs food, without it one gets weak and dies, but any healthy food will do, it mustn’t be tasty. Although - the tasty food is not the problem, nor the wanting to eat to maintain the body, even to eat tasty food does not necessarily create suffering. But wanting the tasty food and craving for the tasty food, going for it, – this is where suffering starts.
Liking a smell of a flower which is growing somewhere and one passes by is not yet suffering but it may become suffering, when one goes for the smell, chases after it, buys similar perfumes, buys the same flower to be with the smell, then it turns into suffering.
That’s quite easy to understand. Everything that occurs at one of our sense doors, eyes, ears, nose, tongh, tactile sense is firstly jus what it is but might turn into an object of craving, wanting and hence may cause suffering.
There is bhava tanha, bhava is translated with becoming, being, the german translation is Daseinsprozess which for me seems to be a rather logical translation, it means: ‘being in the process of being’ or just being if one understands it as process and not as a fixum.
Then bhava tanha means: wanting it to be ... ‘it’ can be replaced by anything. Wanting to be happy, wishing to be rich, hoping the weather to be nice, wanting to become a Bhikkhuni, wanting to be enlightend, wanting to be slim and beautiful, liking it, wanting to be a strong meditator. any wanting to be and wanting it to be can be grouped here. LIKING!
Vibhava tanha is the opposite of it: wanting it not to be … If food is not tasty but one is attached to tasty food one wants it to be tasty and is hence suffering because it actually is not. Not wanting the pain meditation can cause, not liking the smell of the feet of the person meditating next to oneself, not wanting the mosquitoes to bite, etc. etc. DISLIKING!
It turns out that one is busy with one of the three tanhas (craving, attachment) whole day through. It’s either one or another, they are linked and can change quickliy. They are not completely different mind states, more different shades of an craving, attached mind state. Only when the mind calms down from meditation, when mind states become clearer and purer arising of ‘wanting’ is slowing down and finally eventually ceasing. Not that it is so already in my case …
I’m meditating on this since I wrote about the first noble truth and can tell you I don’t want to see all this wanting anymore. :o)
I will give up the wanting for becoming a Bhikkhuni in the very moment of my ordination. And for the rest - There are some moments throughout a day without any wanting, just walking, just breathing, whatever is on in those moments. It’s like learning to equilibrate a raw egg on a needle top, it rarely works but if it happens for some moments it’s “wow”, great (afterwards). Interesting noting, when there is no wanting at all then there is no experience of “I”, neither.
I could give up the wanting to be perfect enlightened now and found that the last words my teacher told me when he left last year “Learn patience!” are eventually the most profound teaching he could give me.
For one month I served the guest teacher and the translator with tea and honey, juices, soymilks etc. in the evening, greedy staring at all the good things Ajaan receives, noticing ‘wanting, wanting’, using the tea bags I have 1 for 3 mugs, sometimes hungry and weak leaving the Ajaans with their nice drinks, hoping to be eventually offered some honey (never happened). Now, two or three weeks later I happen to serve the Bhikkhuni with a drink that the kitchen gives out in the afternoon, yet hungry at that time myself I don’t have a desire to take a drink for me (except on the first day, I didn’t reflect on it and took a drink as well but now I do not anymore because it is not offered).
A story of success? Oh, noooo …
I don’t want to lose my teeth and the ability to go to toilet alone in old age and am attached to the hot water kettle Nadya gave and teabags my sister has sent, the monks blanket, the phone and notebook …
It seems that wanting loses its power just by observing it, by not giving it much attention, by just going back to the rising and falling of the abdomen or any other sensation that arises.

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