Monday, June 10, 2013

Suffering


The Buddha’s life was geared toward a simple quest: to understand the nature of suffering and how to go about conquering it. Today Buddhism has become a religion with many traditions, but all of them are based on that simple quest.

In the time of The Buddha suffering went by the Sanskrit name of dukkha, which essentially meant dis-ease (now known as mental disease), the opposite of equanimity. There are a host of recognized mental disorders or diseases but all of them share a common characteristic: unresolved trauma. Surprisingly the more we learn about Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) the closer we come to understanding dukkha. The past is meeting the present.

You’re reading a post from a blog that deals with Zen, and Zen is one of the steps on The Buddha’s Eight-Fold Path. In Sanskrit, Zen was (and is) known as Dhyāna. The man recognized as the father of Zen defined the practice leading to enlightened self-understanding was Bodhidharma and he defined Zen as “Not thinking.” To the average person this seems bizarre. How does not thinking lead to an enlightened self-understanding?

The answer is not so hard to understand once you realize that the true you and me are beyond the construction of thought; that all of us are spiritually transcendent and as such can’t be described with words or encapsulated with thoughts. That’s the short story, but how does the wrong self-understanding play out in real life and conversely what happens when genuine self-understanding occurs?

I have just completed my latest book simply titled Trauma.  I could just as well have titled it Dukkha, but that would not be contemporarily correct. Trauma is both a story of a real person struggling throughout life to overcome suffering and a thorough exposition on PTSD. Anyone wishing to find their way through the maze of life leading to genuine self-understanding would be well advised to purchase and read this book. It is as real-time as the growing awareness of PTSD and as ancient as The Buddha’s enlightenment. The “Order Now” button is on the right of this post. I encourage you to read. 
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