116 – The 5 Truths that Enable Freedom from Suffering
Freedom from Suffering
Mindfulness Online Training
The 5 Truths that Enable Freedom from Suffering
Wouldn’t it be great if we knew how to gain freedom from suffering? The good news is that I’m sharing how we can do just that through discovering five truths…
Firstly, when I say ‘suffering’, I’m referring to ‘psychological suffering’ – not the pain we experience in our bodies. Psychological suffering is generated through thoughts.
Because we have the power to influence our thoughts we have the power to reduce or remove our suffering
We suffer when we’re in resistance to our experience in a given moment
Something happens that our ego thinks shouldn’t happen. We then resist the experience and temporarily escape from it by getting lost in our thoughts.
Resistance is the trigger for becoming lost in our thoughts
Being lost in thought is a form of dreaming which causes suffering. And most of us regularly believe things should be different to how they actually are! Crazy isn’t it? An example might be when we’re out walking without a coat or umbrella and it starts to rain. We might believe that it shouldn’t be raining. Another example, is that we lose something, and believe that we shouldn’t have lost it. Notice the words should and shouldn’t here that are negatively judging how things are in reality.
Resistance is always caused by our attachments
This is related to one of the central teachings of Buddhism. In the first example I provided somebody may be attached to their hair looking a certain way which changes when it’s saturated by the rain – then they suffer. In the second example somebody may have been attached to the item they’d lost.
All of our attachments at any given point in time form our ego. This is why it’s always the ego that triggers the suffering. We can be attached to all sorts of things including possessions, knowledge, roles, likes, dislikes, creations, opinions, resentments, appearances, beliefs, positive or negative comparisons, addictions, attachments from the past or fantasies about the future.
So how do we solve this problem of suffering? In two ways…Firstly, we don’t get attached to stuff! Generally speaking, the mind only creates attachments when we’re lost in thought – it doesn’t do this when we’re mindful. And the second way is to gain freedom from being impacted by any attachments we’ve already created – we do this through being mindful. Then we can think creatively and accept our experience rather than being at the mercy of the attachments and the conditioned mind.
The antidote to suffering is MINDFULNESS
Cultivating and practising mindfulness through meditation and within our everyday activities reduces and ultimately removes suffering. The primary reason for this is that mindfulness enables awareness. Awareness of what’s external to us, our bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts. And it’s this awareness that empowers us with choice and creativity. This means we can make positive choices about our thoughts, communication and actions which brings us back to the first truth.
In more complex scenarios, it may be necessary to think through our problems and re-wire ourselves psychologically. We might need a therapist to help us do this. But even in these cases we will only fix our problems through being mindful.
So, here’s a recap of the five truths…
- Because we have the power to influence our thoughts we have the power to reduce or remove our suffering
- We suffer when we’re in resistance to our experience in a given moment
- Resistance is the trigger for becoming lost in our thoughts
- Resistance is always caused by our attachments
- The antidote to suffering is MINDFULNESS
Article & Podcast from Darren Cockburn, founder of Mindfulness Online Training
Copyright © 2019 Darren Cockburn. All Rights Reserved