2022-04-26 Satipatthana (63) Second Noble Truth
8:05AM Apr 27, 2022
second noble truth
So the practice of letting go is a powerful teacher. Learn to let go. And you can be available more fully for our life, for compassion for wisdom to arise. Through practicing, letting go starts revealing all the ways in which we hold on. All the ways in which we
do clang grass, hold on. And it's hard to see that in daily life often. But in meditation, we can see the subtlety of it, the consistency of it, how easy it is for the mind to wander off into some kind of concern. And it might seem innocent enough some of our preoccupations, but it still involves some part of us is interested in our thoughts, our fantasies, our imaginations, the past the future. And that interest is involves some kind desire, some kind of wish, that can be mild, innocent enough, it could also be strong and intense. If there's a anger about something, sitting in meditation, and the mind just can't drop, thinking about what happened, and what someone said, and, and the intensity of holding on being concerned about is so strong. But what are the things we learned is that consistency, that how subtle how thoroughly, we're always always holding on or something. And in daily life, where we don't see it. So clearly the minutia that ongoingness of it. In some ways, we are being led around, we're being hijacked, we're being directed by our desires, and there's a lack of freedom we're not, we're not directing the show our desires are. And so in meditation, we can learn how this works and learn to let go of it, we can we can start to cultivate, we can softening the, the muscle of holding on and clinging, the intensity, the energy behind it, some of the mental orientations, that leads us to cling to hold on to things, the inclination to give authority to our thoughts, to the the inclination to see everything through the filter of me, myself and mine. The the orientation to have opinions that we need to have, we have to have all kinds of things we can see. And and so in meditation, we can, it's a one laboratory, to discover what it's like to let go, if at all, let go let go let go. And mindfulness practice. You know, as we go through the Satipatthana, suta, there has been no real discussion about letting go at this so far. And, and so the only thing is at the very beginning, it talks about relaxing the body. But otherwise, that's the closest he gets to actually instructing us to let go. The the phenomenal power of the satipatthāna is that we we are not the agent for change. We're not the ones who are doing the change. We're the ones who are knowing showing up for experience knowing it well. And then the letting go happens in a deeper way. And that's how the suit tie is. But it can be very wise to let go if you know how. And it could also be unwise there's unwise, letting go letting go of the wrong things. But what we're focusing on in Buddhism is not letting not the things we let go of, we might let go of some things. But rather, we're we're focusing on the letting go the clinging to things the holding onto things. And for this regard, it's helpful to make the distinction between holding on and holding. So I can hold on to the striker. And I can also hold it like this with my hand flat. So we can hold things in the softness of our hands. And now we're holding it lightly. And if it's something that needs to go or is naturally going away, then it goes we're not holding on to it. If it's something that Mmm, temporarily needs us to use it for a tool or something, then we can grasp it and do something and then we return to holding it likely. And so we don't have to necessarily have to lose things in letting go, we lose the grasping, the holding itself, the holding on, though we still might hold to why this is important in looking at the second, the Four Noble Truths
is that the probably the most popular and common modern interpretation of the Four Noble Truths is that, that the second noble truth teaches that craving is the cause of suffering. That's craving, somehow grasping is somehow responsible for how we suffer. And in this interpretation, if the grasping goes away, then that suffering goes away. It's possible to argue this. And say, for example, not all suffering comes from grasping and clinging to some suffering some pain, sadness, grief, is just a natural part of life. Dear loved one dies, the fact that we feel grief and sadness doesn't have to entail any grasping, clinging, they're just a natural state of losing something, it's important to us. But there can in the grief, also be clinging and attachment. And the issue for in practice is how to hold something like grief, without holding on to it. And when you hold it, then grief kind of knows what to do. If we hold on to it, we limit it's working it's unfolding. So we could argue it's possible to question this whole thing about that the suffering comes from craving. That's why I like to turn the this interpretation around. And that's in say that if you crave you will suffer. So it's not that saying that all suffering comes from craving, but rather, craving is a cause for suffering. And part of the reason that I'm gonna feel confident in saying this, is that craving itself is a form of suffering is a form of stress on our system. And so even regardless of what we're crave, the thing we're craving, the act of craving is suffering. But the act of craving also creates habits in the mind creates karmic momentum in the mind, that will come back and sometimes make things more difficult in the future. So, so then learning to recognize what's called craving, clinging is important. And I like to think of it as having it as being desire as being compelling desire, desire, which we seem to not have any much choice about, because it's so compelling. It's so forceful, it's so insistent, and put it down, that immediately comes back, sometimes try let it go go over and you can't let go of it. Sometimes it has us, complete control over us the intensity of the addiction desire, that we might have. And, and so. So, some people find it phenomenally useful, this simple idea, that craving, gives rise to suffering. And if you let go of the craving, that particular suffering goes away, suffering that's there, that's not because of craving. That's a whole other topic. But and this is one of the great, I think, teachings of modern Buddhism, is this focus on craving and clinging, and letting go, that allows us to really release a lot of attention, distress, that dukkha suffering that we carry with us in our lives. And, so, to see that the second noble truth to understand it as So, the first one is the truth of suffering. The second one is the truth that craving is the cause of suffering. And, and some people in the modern world also like to say that in this regard, suffering is optional. And pain is not emotional pain that comes with life, but the suffering suffering is the The this in the Buddhist language is suffering is the pain that arises because of the clinging. So if there's pain that has no clinging, it's, then it's a, it's, it's wouldn't be called dukkha, wouldn't be called this, we would use the Buddhistic word suffering for it.
So learning to let go. And, and there's two ways there's dropping something. And there's letting go of the holding onto it. In one way, some people love to do this letting go practice is not to let go per se, but rather to let the and this is closer to what we're doing. And satipatthāna satipatthāna Practice is a practice of letting everything be and then just seeing it for what it is knowing it. And if we think of the knowing of mindfulness, as a letting be practice, I think it adds a richness to an a depth to the mindfulness that I think is very, very significant. So letting things be so letting go of the holding on to wanting, expecting, measuring ourselves, how are we doing, wanting it to be different, wanting it to go something to go away. There's all these compulsive compulsive thoughts, ideas that can weigh us down when we do mindfulness practice. And the idea is to come to a very free or easy or satisfying place in mindfulness, where we let everything just be. And then in the beingness, we know it, we let it be and we know what we're allowing it to be. So whether it's the experiences the body, feeling tones, mind states, the hindrances, the seven factors of awakening a lot of is just letting it be and knowing it well. And what we discovered over time is that the act of is clear, full, knowing while we let things be a doesn't, this has an impact, it sets in motion, something begins to unfold and to move and change. I don't know if this is a good analogy, but if you take carbonated water bottle of it, and maybe shake it first and then remove the lid, then just been moving it letting go of though Tada lid is hell holds on and clings to the top of the bottle, then it releases the pressure of the carbonate carbonation, the gas. And so sometimes just letting go releases something free something. Sometimes it allows something healthy to flow and move are psychophysical beings are processes, they're not things. And so the holding on interferes with the processes the the dynamic nature of this life that we are. And so letting be, is not doesn't really let things stay the same. It be letting things be allows a process than the process to unfold, which is not under your direction. And so there is a kind of letting go of direction. It with giving direction is another thing to hold on to. So So you might want to look at what you what behavior you have today. That's compulsive, what thoughts what words you speak, what activities you do, that you find yourself doing without deliberation without care and attention that something inside of you is kind of taking the ball and run with it. Where you're not free? And what do you need to let go of what you need to not hold on to. So you come back to a place of freedom of choice of agency knowing what you're doing without compulsion getting in the way. So stop through the day and take a good look at this. And you'll learn a lot. So, thank you all. And tomorrow I'll offer a different interpretation for the second noble truth as relates to the third noble truth. Thank you