The historical Buddha, Shakyamuni Gautama, is said to have declared that he taught one thing and only one thing: how suffering (dukkha) originates, and how it can cease. He characterized ordinary everyday life for humans as being suffused with dukkha through and through. Ranging from the subtlest shades of dissatisfaction with life to acute anguish, dukkha follows us like our own shadow. Who hasn’t experienced dukkha in countless shades and shapes in one’s lifetime? The Buddha’s Father, King Suddhodana, set out to protect his son from experiencing dukkha, mobilizing his whole kingdom in this project, but ultimately he failed in his endeavor. Instead of being blissfully ignorant of dukkha, as his father wished, the Buddha became an “authority” on dukkha. He experienced it deeply and researched it intensively. He liberated himself from dukkha.Like so many people who turn to the Buddha’s teachings to gain relief from their suffering, I too took my refuge in his Dharma teachings at the height of my own acute suffering that was threatening to burn down my house of being from the inside.
Bai, H. (2015). Buddhism at a system of education. In T. McGinnity (Ed.), Lotus Petals in the Snow: Voices of Canadian Buddhist Women (pp. 19-26). Richmond, BC: The Sumeru Press.
Lotus Petals in the Snow: Voices of Canadian Buddhist Women
Buddhism as a system of education
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