Posted by David on December 01, 1998 at 06:34:58:
In Reply to: Confused and scared about the truths I'm discovering posted by Alejandra on November 28, 1998 at 20:08:58:
:) Pretty crazy huh. Just be careful not to change things too fast when you feel this way. The most important thing you can do, you are already doing, and that is observing the motivations behind your actions and observing the suffering that comes from these motivations and actions. That is the first and second Noble Truths of Buddhism. The first, suffering, and the second, the cause(s) of suffering.
It is very difficult not to react against these negative things you see. But reacting against them, fighting them, hating them, will only create more suffering for you. To cry is not bad, to feel sorry that we have wasted so much time and caused ourselves and others so much trouble is not bad. But it is important to see that these mental habits of ours may be very strong and that they will likely arise over and over again in our future. We have estabilished these habits ourselves and it will take time for them to go away. But they will only go away if we do not fight them, but also do our best not to give into them. We will not usually be completely successful, but we need to try to do just what you are already doing - to observe the desires, the motivations, the perceptions we have and what they can lead to for ourselves and those around us.
As we observe them more and more we will naturally begin to stop responding to them without even having to make an effort. And then they will come up less. When we first see them and their effects clearly, it can be very scarey and very painful. And we can become frustrated, depressed, angry at ourselves, very easily. But that is only jumping from one fire to another; it is only substituting one self-centered set of desires for another. First, we wanted to be physcially beautiful and popular, now we want to be clean and perfectly sane. The common thread is "I want", and this is the root of all of our pain.
It is difficult not to want something for one's self. We will do it over and over and over again. But the peace and calm clarity you are looking for is precisely in not wanting. But don't jump into wanting so badly to not want... see how tricky our mind can be?!
I am happy for you that the shell has cracked for you, and I am sorry it is so painful. It usually is though. Please be patient and do not give up. Trust in causes and conditions, having confidence that what you created you can stop creating - slowly, with time, just like it was created.
I would suggest reading a book by Thich Naht Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk. He is very warm, and very nurturing, and you will be able to learn the Buddhist tools for dealing with what you now see at the same time. I suggest his book entitled "The Heart Of The Buddha's Teachings". You can get it at Amazon.com, or most big bookstores.
Best wishes to you.
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