“[T]he conscious realization of the ending of Dukkha, of emptiness, and of the space of the mind are considered crucial elements of right practice. Realizing the cessation of suffering is in some ways the most important of the aspects of working with the Four Noble Truths. It’s the least tangible of them all, but it’s the one that contains the jewel, the seed of enlightenment.” ~~ Ajahn Amaro
Realizing the cessation of suffering is what is necessary and it is very illusive. In our sitting practice we can notice the arising of suffering. We can see its cause in our thinking. Then we are asked to realize this. “This is suffering. Oh, I see. This is suffering.” In so many circumstances the actual suffering will pass and the experience of discomfort will remain. We can identify the uncomfortable feeling, “My back is very painful,” and feel the pain in the back rather than have some story about the pain. “I miss my father,” and then, as painful as grief can be, open my heart to miss my father.
The idea that we can avoid the difficult feelings in life by rejecting them is delusional. They are a part of life and come and go like everything else. Nothing will happen to us if we feel bad for a while, except that we feel bad for a while. Our heart ache will pass. If we pay attention to the pain in our bodies, we may discover that there is something that needs to be treated or done differently so that the pain will be relieved or pass. Knowing that suffering arises, that there is a cause for its arising and realizing its end is transformative.
Again today, bring a “mindful and wise attention” to all of your experiences as you sit in meditation. Discover them in a new way. Each breath, each sensation, each feeling, each thought is new and different. Bring this sense of newness to each ksana.