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September 25, 2008


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Hi Barry,
I am a bit confused by this:

"the Buddha teaches that when we become deeply conscious of our own damaged nature, we put an end to suffering."

That sounds like a recipe for depression to me.

I hope you can clarify that statement.

I am of the mind that the D word might better be expressed in English as "Stress."

When we get stuck in is our own "Ideas" (like how we think things should be vs. how they really are) this is stress.

Practicing Cessation, (what Gautama Buddha called that thing that we call Buddhism) is a practice of letting go. When we radically let go, this is the end of suffering.

Or at least that is my view on it at the moment.

Be well,

Barry Briggs

Hi Jordan! The passage from the Nidana-Vagga Sutra quoted above says, essentially, that when we attain our dukkha, then liberation inevitably follows.

For me, the most challenging question is: How can dukkha be a cause for trust? Wow! What has to occur for this??

In my own work, trust appears when I can perceive the scope of the suffering/stress/damage/brokenness/dis-ease/dissatisfaction in my conditioned self. There is a kind of liberation, or (at least) relief, that comes from acknowledging this. Ahhh....*this* is who I am! Now I can "let go."

The word "damage" has some resonance for me right now because it reveals something truthful about my conditioned self.

It also creates kinship with teachers whose actions sometimes produce suffering for others. I've often wondered how a teacher could engage in one of various forms of abuse. But if we all share the nature of being damaged, then it becomes more clear.

The problem arises when we don't accept the damage, or won't reveal it to ourselves (much less to others).

Right now "damage" has sort of a "word-of-the-month" flavor for me. I'm trying to really *get* what it means to have dukkha. So I appreciate your response. It helps me look again. It's a fine gift -- thank you!


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