The Third Noble Truth

“And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of Dukkha: the remainder-less fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of craving.” ~~ The Buddha

The action required of the Third Noble Truth is that we let go. So simple and so difficult. Let go. Let go of craving for life to be other than it is. Let go of blaming, dissatisfaction and ignorance. Let go of the ideas of how life should be and live the life that is. There will be difficulties – great difficulties. We are asked to realize them rather than pretend that we should not have them and that there is somehow something wrong with us because we do. “This is suffering.” We allow ourselves to see that the difficulty becomes suffering when we reject the very idea and make ourselves and life wrong for its existence. Our struggle and resistance create the suffering. The very idea that we have done nothing to deserve this creates suffering. “There must be some mistake because I am a good person doing the best I can and now I’m being punished? What did I ever do to deserve this?” Sometimes we can look at our past behavior and see that what is happening is our karma ripening. Sometimes it is simply the way life is: the arising and the passing away of all phenomena. Jack Kornfield says that we bring a “mindful and wise attention” to all of our experiences and discover them in a new way. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche taught that we “lean in to the sharp points,” rather than pull away or reject them.


As you sit today, see what you discover in your body and emotions. See what sensations are present as you release your thinking. Notice what emotions arise because of your thoughts and how long they remain after you release the thought. Pema Chodron tells us to approach all that happens in meditation with curiosity, compassion and loving-kindness; with an open heart. When our negativity arises we embrace even that with love and compassion. Nothing is rejected. Speak to yourself as you would your child or your dearest friend; speak to yourself as you would your loved one; “Oh my Darling, I know this is so painful. The feeling will pass if you feel it.” Give yourself comfort in the difficulty and encouragement to maintain your awareness.

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