Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Coming to Conclusions

If you feel - like I did - that you are still stuck in samsara, that you are still experiencing anxieties most of the time, that you're still searching for the so-called "enlightenment" or deliverance from suffering in the Buddhist sense even after years of devotion, practice, meritorious acts, spiritual quests, etc., then it's time you turn to mindfulness training.

At this stage in my practice, I have come to the following conclusions:

The Buddha Dharma is essentially about two things:
(1) the recognition of the truth of suffering; and
(2) the cessation of suffering.

If these are not what you have in mind in your practice, then you are simply being religious, superstitious, or mysterious.

The cessation of suffering or the attainment of the so-called "enlightenment," according to my understanding of the Buddha Dharma, may be achieved by having these two simultaneously:
(1) continuing mindfulness; and
(2) the proper knowledge and application of the doctrine of dependent origination (pratityasamutpada in Sanskrit or paticcasamuppada in Pali) in everyday

Note that the doctrine of dependent origination referred to here is different from the generally understood law of karma. It would be beneficial for a practitioner to know that the Buddha emphasized on teachings of the paticca rather than karma. These, to my understanding, summarize the practice. Thanks to my translation of the book by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, I've come to understand the doctrine/principle even better. Please refer to