579 Fear, Guilt, Meditation, Nirvana, Freedom

Fear, Guilt, Meditation, Nirvana, Freedom

The Buddhist teachings are about alleviating suffering. The Four Noble Truths of the Buddha are the Truth of Suffering, the Truth of the Path to alleviate Suffering, the Truth of alleviating Suffering and the Truth of the End of Suffering (the attainment of Nirvana); (btw, for reasons I cannot fathom they come in a slightly different order).

The Truth of Suffering is that we all are burdened with our mind ... and it is some of the activities of our mind that cause our suffering; namely our attachments, i.e. attachment to unnecessary stuff, including physical stuff … but importantly, all that stuff that clogs up our mind; above all, the “problems” we have.

The Truth of the path to alleviate Suffering is meditation. Meditation is “Fighting the Mind” ... meditation helps us overcome our attachments. We train our mind to see things as they really are; we either accept stuff we can’t change and stop worrying about them, or we deal with the things that need dealing with in a detached manner. 

The Truth of alleviating Suffering is detachment. Detachment from all that stuff we accumulate but don’t really need, and … most, most importantly, the stuff that’s congesting our mind. We must detach from it; that does not mean we ignore it, in the contrary, we deal with it … immediately, decisively and in a detached manner.

To be detached from our problems will help us deal with them efficiently; then we can accept the issues & difficulties on our mind as just “stuff-that-needs-dealing-with” ... and in the process they become surmountable. The concept of acceptance, detach-ment and letting go is the basis for enlightenment; I have a book en.light.en.ment

Were we detached from issues & problems they at once become - not less real - but manageable and resolvable. Meditation is - on the one hand - sitting still and turning one’s attention inward. But on the other hand, meditation is a positive, constructive way of conducting our daily life; the way we relate to others; the way we make decisions; the way we listen, think and respond (as opposed to react).

An important aspect of alleviating suffering are the issues of fear and guilt. My favourite acronym for FEAR is: False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is an emotion that tends to take over our mind, causing negative thinking, anger and more fear. Fear is often coupled with guilt. Guilt is most destructive. And it is counter-productive. Guilt stifles us, creates yet more fear and prevents us from being real and pro-active.

Getting rid of our guilt does not mean to neglect the issue at hand; in the contrary, we do what is required of us ... and we do it in a detached manner that nonetheless, while honest and compassionate, is decisive. As a result our mind will be clearer and more capable of making right, positive choices. The outcome is peace of mind. The Truth of the End of Suffering is the attainment of nirvana. Nirvana = peace of mind.

Krishnamurti talks at length about the Freedom from Fear (blog 540). Peace of mind requires the absence of fear and guilt. That is true freedom.