Monday, December 22, 2008

Daily Dharma - Dukkha as Teacher

A good entry from Daily Dharma today, brought to you by Tricycle Magazine.
Dukkha as Teacher

Dukkha is our best teacher. It will not be persuaded by any pleading of misery to let go of us. If we may say to a human teacher, "I don't feel well....," the teacher may reply, "I am very sorry, but if you want to go home, then you must go. If we say to dukkha, "Look, I don't feel well.... I want to go home," dukkha says, "That's fine, but I am coming along." There is no way to say goodbye to it unless and until we have transcended our reactions. This means that we have looked dukkha squarely in the eye and seen it for what it is: a universal characteristic of existence and nothing else. The reason we are fooled is that because this life contains so many pleasant occasions and sense contacts, we think if we could just keep this pleasantness going dukkha would never come again. We try over and over again to make this happen, until in the end we finally see that the pleasantness cannot continue because the law of impermanence intervenes.... So we continue our search for something new, because everybody else is doing it too.

~ Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies, from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book.

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