Anxiety and Baggage

Anxiety and Baggage March 6, 2017

We cause all sorts of problems in our lives because of basic sense of dissatisfaction and anxiety that we carry with us. Often we do all sorts of things that bring more pain and suffering into our lives. Sometimes we can just tend to make ourselves more and more unhappy.

The Buddha saw that this was a problem. He became aware of this problem of fundamental dissatisfaction and emotional baggage. He discovered a way we can work with it and improve ourselves.

The path he created is possible for us to follow as well. Never forget that he was an ordinary person like us. The Buddha’s teachings are accessible to us in the modern age and we can all try to walk that path. We have access to the path and we just have to decide to start the journey.

Seeing the reality of dissatisfaction, of suffering and neurosis, is one of the fundamental concepts in Buddhism. Our lives are a struggle for contentment. We suffer from anxiety that’s rooted in delusion.

The First Noble Truth is that there is suffering. The Buddha’s teachings are designed to help us understand the causes and conditions that led to our suffering. The more we understand these causes and conditions, the more we will understand why we suffer. Once we have that understanding, we can start to realize that there is a potential to overcome that basic suffering.

The first step on the path is just realizing where we are. We are in an ocean of suffering.

The way to deal with this is through sitting practice, through taming our minds with shamatha practice. Cultivating mental discipline helps us a great deal. In this way we start our journey by working with reality.

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