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Fundamentals of the Dharma: Moving Toward the Struggle

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2012-01-23
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Why did the Buddha say he only taught suffering and the end of suffering? If this is the core of what he taught, how diligently do we practice it? Do our practices attempt to understand the nature of anguish, or do they sidestep that issue and attempt to create anguish-free environments and foster greater dependency on pleasant experiences? Do we see anguish as a fundamental dharmic principle that guides and directs us toward liberation, or do we pull back and adapt a philosophical approach to anguish – “This too shall pass.”  Suffering provides all that is necessary for a complete understanding of the formation of self, but we must be willing to move toward the difficult for that to be imparted.


Be aware of the range and expressions of your anguish. Use the week to focus on the gross and subtle forms of your personal pain as it occurs throughout the day. Each time you find yourself in conflict, ask “Who is responsible for this?”  Watch your tendency to blame and externalize the causes. Keep the phrase “Adjust to reality, don’t make reality adjust to you” as your frame of reference for surrendering and releasing all suffering.


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