Friday, 1 June 2012


The Buddha is reported to have said, "All life is suffering", but the word which is translated as "suffering", dukha, is more accurately translated as unsatisfactory.

I would not agree.  There are times in life when things are quite satisfactory and there are times when things are not.

The condition which the Buddha called unsatisfactory is the result of a lack of love which is caused by closed or hardened hearts.

We experience the feeling of this lack of love as children and assume that this is the normal condition of humanity.

If we examine our experience closely, however, we will find that the difference between feeling O.K. and not feeling O.K. corresponds exactly to the presence or absence of love in our lives.

What we seek is not knowledge or power but love.

Enlightenment or realization flows from love.

What do we benefit from knowledge or power if we have not love?

What do we benefit from wealth or possessions if we have not love?

What is adulation or fame but a pale facsimile of love?

All sex is looking for love.

What causes us to close our hearts but fear.

Fear of ridicule.

Fear of rejection.

Fear of violence.

What is jealousy but fear of losing love?

What causes us to harden our hearts but fear?  

Fear of strangers.

Fear of crime.

What causes us to open our hearts but our tears and our compassion for our brothers' and sisters' suffering.

In the end our lives are not so much about the state of our minds as the condition of our hearts.

Photo Credit: seadigs Flickr via Compfight cc

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