Suffering Only Occurs in the Present (Part 2 of 4)
Last week, we discussed the very foundation of Buddhist teachings, the Four Noble Truths (see Part One of this series to get caught up!). We explored the reality that life includes “suffering.” It’s simply part of what it means to be human. In essence, our suffering can only be caused by our reaction to the events and circumstances we experience.
In this installment, we will touch on the second of the Four Noble Truths, which simply reminds us that the root of most of our suffering comes from craving or an aversion.
A craving means being both driven toward experiences and objects, as well as feeling compelled to push them away. Whether craving is subtle or gross, if we aren’t paying attention, if we aren’t mindful or aware, we won’t notice how it contributes to our suffering.
A big part of the reason Buddhism puts such a tremendous focus on the present moment is that suffering can only occur in the present moment. Even if the event, circumstance, or conditions for suffering actually occurred in the past, the thought or memory of those conditions is occurring in the present.
It is only in the present moment that we can find both the cause and relief from our suffering.
This is why meditation practice is so fundamental to your growth, healing, and transformation. When we practice, we begin with stabilizing ourselves in the present moment. When we settle into our bodies, listen to sounds, or feel the sensations of our breathing, we can then begin to explore our experience.
This week, take a moment throughout each day to see if you can put your finger on what you are driven toward, what you push away, and how you might be creating your own suffering.
If you would like further coaching on how to be freed of the limiting beliefs your cravings and aversions cause in your life that might be keeping you stuck, feel free to click here to set up a time when we can chat to discuss.