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If you don't drop the fire,
The burning cannot be stopped.
Like that, if you don't give up the I,
Suffering cannot be abandoned.
Today I had the day off work and was lying on the couch with my orange cat on my stomach, imagining we were like two candleflames in the wind.
A subject I find interesting that I never see anyone discuss is the different types of mindfulness practice.
One way is being aware, just being aware without judging.
Another way is to be aware of phenomena not existing as it seems to, like a dream or illusion or like candleflames in the wind.
Another way is to be aware of your motivation and turn your everyday activities like eating and showering into merit by doing it for the good of all.
"I have become comfortably numb." -Pink Floyd
I find these four lines from the Diamond Sutra extremely helpful for putting an end to suffering...
A star, a defective view, a flame,
An illusion, a drop of dew, a bubble,
A dream, a flash of lightning, a cloud:
See causative phenomena as such
See all causative phenomena as...
Like a star in the daytime. All beings and objects appear permanent and appear to exist independently. Reality seems to be hidden like a star in the daytime, that all beings and objects are impermanent and exist dependently upon causes and conditions.
Like a defective view. Like a defective view, all beings and objects appear permanent and appear to exist independently. In reality, all beings and objects are impermanent and exist dependently upon causes and conditions.
Like a flame. A flame appears to be permanent and exist independently. In reality, the flame is made up of oxygen, the substance it is burning, and many other factors. It is a dependent arising and impermanent like all phenomena. Take away just oxygen, for example, and the flame goes out.
Like an illusion. All phenomena appear to exist permanently and independently. This is like an illusion because all is dependently arisen and constantly changing.
Like a drop of dew. All phenomena is as impermanent as a drop of dew.
Like a bubble. All causal phenomena is like a bubble, impermanent, and may burst at any moment. Your body is like a bubble, as are the bodies of all your friends, enemies, loved ones, and neutral people.
Like a dream. Everything is like a dream, seeming to exist from its own side. Our minds see a false reality throughout the day. In reality, everything is a dependent arising.
Like a flash of lightning. Something manifests due to causes and conditions and, like a flash of lightning, the manifestation breaks up because the causes and conditions for its manifestation are no longer there.
Like a cloud. All phenomena are like clouds passing by in the sky, impermanent, dependently arisen, and may form or break up at any time due to causes and conditions.
It helps to meditate on these individually first with analytical meditation then with single-pointed meditation on the insight that arises. It also helps to be mindful of these throughout the day. Maybe take a day to look around and think, "Everything is like a dream. It appears permanent, yet it's impermanent. Everything is a dependent arising."
Why does this put an end to suffering? Because now you can see there's no basis for attachment, aversion, or ignorance. It doesn't arise. Or, if it arises, you can handle it by cutting through it with these four lines from the Diamond Sutra.