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Exploring Liberation from the Four Distortions

Seattle Insight Meditation Center | Apr 2016

This month we will continue with our exploration of the Four Noble Truths by taking a deeper look into the cause of suffering. We will be practicing with the Vipallasa or four distortions. The four are (1) taking that which is impermanent to be permanent; (2) pursuing satisfaction from that which is unsatisfactory; (3) assuming self where there is no self and (4) seeing the unattractive as attractive. These four distortions are the foundation for all our conditioning, clinging and grasping. They are hardwired into our human existence and show up in our thoughts, perceptions and views. They are the backbone of our opinions, assumptions, arguments and desires. Through stillness and awareness we can learn to see them for what they truly are – distortions of reality. Practicing with the four opens the door to the great liberation of the Four Noble Truths. Realizing the existence of suffering is the key. Investigating the cause of that suffering is the door. Seeing one of the distortions is what enable us to walk through the doorway to liberation. It is nearly impossible to continue along a path once we see the distortion behind our thoughts, perceptions and views, and letting go becomes a reality.

Talks in this series