Posting Essays

Suffering’s Appearance and Disappearance

Update: 26/09/2015
Pertaining to the tenet of Buddhism, “Suffering” is the first thing to be mentioned about.

Suffering’s Appearance and Disappearance


The Buddha taught: “All living beings had their miseries. Shakya Muni Buddha felt and profoundly understood about it from human being’s birth, aging, sickness and death. Therefore, he hoped that people could attain liberation through merit of cultivation. After enlightenment, his first Dharma talk was “four noble truths”- the basic truths of Buddha Dharma: Suffering, cause of suffering, end of suffering and path.

Suffering is one of those basic things which we all can feel and find it out in the daily life.

Where does suffering come from? Lacking of materials such as rice, clothes and money is not its cause. It is the key of conflict and tug of inner feeling, which can not be rescued. In other words, it is an inner torment.

In fact, the reason that we can feel all sorts of sufferings is because those things were made by us and we ourselves must sustain them. From the ignorance and lack of understanding about cause-effect dogma in life, people have aberrant actions about all aspects: body, language, psychology (action, speech, thought).Those behaviors are the causes of suffering.

The reason why there is a saying” Bodhisattvas frighten the cause, human beings fear for consequence” is because Bodhisattvas consider stopping causes of suffering as a basic rescue approach. In contrast, vulgar people (living being) just find the way to avoid consequence of suffering and hope to escape it soon. Nevertheless, during devil-may-care fleeing journey, another arising suffering is created in an unexpected way.

Consequence of the suffering is really like a shadow of each person. People often say the sentence “a shadow accompanying with a figure”. It means there is no way we can push our shadow away in the sun. Therefore, whatever effort we make to run away from our own shadow until we are exhausted - it is still by us. The shadow will vanish from sight unless its body no longer exists.

 Thus, if we continue to create the causes of the suffering, the consequence will follow us forever. It is the same like after finishing a meal, the leftover food is still scattered on the surface of the table and we must clean it up. Even when we spend money to hire the cleaner to tidy up, that amount of money also must be earned by us.

Therefore, all of the sufferings are the consequence of cause-effect transmigration. We suffer from what we made; it is no use to run away from it. We have to confront dauntlessly and receive it to continue to sustain with it. However, the most effective method is to stop creating its causes.

From that, it is needed to confine causes of suffering to escape it and have happiness; cultivation (practice “Buddhism”) is the most effective method. During cultivation process, our wisdom will be developed more. That wisdom can be applied to balance our inner feelings, recognize our crosses that we are bearing. And then, we will have enough will to face it.

 And so, crosses will bit by bit no more exist. Moreover, we will stop railing against fate or run away from the present truth. Instead, we will bravely face, receive and find the way to overcome it to avoid causing affliction for us and other people. At the same time, the cultivation minimizes causes creating suffering and affliction.

Restricting causes rising suffering will naturally mitigate consequences. That is cultivation.


Translated into English by Huynh Vo Cao Tri.

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