Sunday, October 25, 2009

"The Unsatisfactory Nature of All Existence"

I'm almost finished reading, "Mindfulness in Plain English," a primer for mindfulness meditation written by Venerable H. Gunaratana Mahathera.  Towards the end of the book he writes,

"Through this intensive study of the negative aspects of your existence, you become deeply acquainted with dukkha, the unsatisfactory nature of all existence.  You begin to perceive dukkha at all levels of our human life, from the obvious down to the most subtle."

Have I ever!  I've started to notice how I gravitate towards pleasant experiences and how I tend to get caught up in negative emotions and have difficulty just sitting with them and exploring them with mindful curiosity.  I've become increasingly alert and aware during enjoyable activities and when I find my mind slipping away from the present moment I catch myself and remind myself to be present.  The thing is I'm catching myself doing this A LOT -- I'm definitely a thinker and my mind seems to always try to slip away from the present moment.  I get frustrated with repeatedly having to remind myself to fully experience whatever I'm doing so that I can fully ENJOY it.  I"m wondering if this is causing me to enjoy things less than I did before.

The thing is, though, I'm not sure how much I was really enjoying things before.  Maybe I'm really experiencing the fullness of life for the first time and am just frustrated with the fact that my mind keeps pulling me away from it.

I am, however, fairly confident that this is just a passing phase on my journey...


  1. He does not think this more receptive. Creativity and imagination from pictures of Jose Ramon Thanks for the comments

  2. The catching your mind slipping off is exactly the place where awakening occurs. Sometimes, I notice the mud so much it's hard not to get down about it. But actually, that's when things are changing, because it's not "hidden" anymore. Hang with it.

  3. ... and remember that when your mind DOES "slip away," no judgement is necessary. Just let it slip, be aware that it's slipped, and bring it back to the present.

    You'll soon slip less and less... resulting in more and more of the now.

    Great post!


  4. Great blog and post-
    Sometimes the slip is a form or sign to lessen concentration on the topic or situation one is in or given at any state of mind.Here the body goes into a light pause though the click back will get us back with a smile that we were elsewhere and are now in full command -Its a great feeling to go back and forth,enjoy it ;I do !


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