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Struggle and Lack

Our ignorance is that we either do not know this and continue striving for a safe place to stand, or we know but continue to deny impermanence because we are so attached to the idea of a permanent ‘me’. Because it is trying the impossible task of fixing itself a secure home, the ego-self experiences a lack, a black hole that, despite everything we do, cannot be filled up.

Lack

One outcome of this is that we constantly defer to the future as a place where eventually, if we follow the right path, the right teacher, the right relationship, job, etc, etc, we will finally find peace. In doing so we inadvertently distort reality, e.g. striving for a life free from problems where dogs don’t crap on the pavement and we are loved unconditionally by everyone!

Nobody’s life, and I imagine not even the Buddha’s, is free of problems, and the dharma does not promise such a place. Instead liberation comes from embracing our lives as they are including all our passions and delusions. This also involves us appreciating our lives and recognising they are precious in and of themselves. The Buddha’s great realisation was that life is at all times in a state of dynamic flow and freedom comes from giving up our craving for permanence and entering the free flow of the Great Life. The Way is to surrender to this Reality which is in fact our true nature. Reality, whether we see it or not, is what’s here now, on a moment-to-moment basis. By ongoingly aligning ourselves with the flow of our lives we do gradually become more free of the fear of impermanence.

It is a struggle and difficult (hence Sangha as a refuge), and a fascinating show!