Having The Ability To Suffer
In that, we are not alone
We, as sentient beings, suffer. Recognising this, we seek knowledge and wisdom to alleviate that suffering: we meditate, by sitting quietly, watching the breath and noting thoughts and emotions arising in the mind, cutting through them by maintaining mindfulness of the breath. This is mind training. We then move on to awareness of the mind itself, which is awareness of awareness – pure consciousness, merely resting there, short moments many times.
Sometimes, when sitting quietly in meditation, we drift off. We know we should be resting naturally in pure awareness, but we become a little too carefree. It may be that we think we are on our own, so it doesn’t matter once in a while … in a while … in a while … 🙂 That is how a habit is formed.
To sharpen us up after so much relaxation, we should be aware of two factors: sentient beings who are suffering, and the sapient who are free from suffering. We commit ourselves to practise in order to alleviate the suffering of others, and we engender devotion – a deep appreciation – to those Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who achieved enlightenment and leave us tokens, which are tangible facts to follow.
Compassion and devotion moisten our journey by bringing the darkness to light!
A Buddha: a person who has attained full enlightenment.
Bodhisattva: a person whose essence is perfect knowledge. In Mahayana Buddhism, someone who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so through compassion for suffering beings.
Sentient: capable of feeling, living, conscious, aware, responsive, reactive – having the ability to suffer.
Sapience: wisdom – the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.