Monday, March 26, 2007

Subtle Stress and Sensation

From The Strategy of a Peaceful Mind (Ajaan Suwat Suvaco. Trans. by Thanissaro Bhikkhu):
Stress, for instance, is a noble truth. It's right there in front of you. Why don't you become disenchanted with it? Because you don't see it, don't see the cause from which it comes. Or when you see the cause, you don't see its connection to stress. Why is that? Because delusion gets in the way. You see pretty sights, hear lovely sounds, smell nice aromas, taste good flavors, and then you fall for them. You get carried away and grasp after them, thinking that you've acquired something. As for the things you don't yet have, you want to acquire them. Once you acquire them, you fall for them and get all attached and entangled. This is the origination of suffering. When these things are inconstant, they stop being peaceful. They become a turmoil because they're inconstant all the time.

1-Minute Contemplation: What pretty sights, lovely sounds, nice aromas, good flavors, and sensual textures have you experienced recently? Carry yourself back to that experience. When the sensation ended, what was your experience? Look deeply at your response. There was perhaps a thankfulness for the opportunity to experience such a wonderful sensation. Was there any longing? Perhaps a twinge of "missing?" Or a very slight desire to feel the sensation again?