There is one more level to experience and explore; one additional sense to guide our path. So far we have developed a set of practices that allow us to experience simultaneously multiple lines of awareness as we experience each moment. We experience more of what each moment has to offer and we approach each moment with a ‘calm abiding.’ This next level of experience helps us answer the questions that seem to have no answer. These questions can bring a person to their knees and cause them great suffering. On the other hand, coming to understand suffering can bring you great comfort, peace of mind and even relief.
Peace of Mind in the Face of Difficult Questions
The Buddha began to explore some of life's most difficult questions with what has been called ‘The Four Sights’- An old man, a sick man, a dead man and a spiritual person seeking the cause of all human suffering. The inevitability of growing old, sickness and death are common to all and beg the question, “Why?” These and other seemingly unanswerable questions cause us to suffer. The ‘Three Poisons’, greed, anger, and delusion, also cause us to suffer. There is a need within us to find answers to end our suffering.
These questions call for the organization only available to the highest mind. When we allow our thoughts to drift towards our suffering what happens? What thoughts arise? The unconscious mind does not like to suffer. It needs an answer that satisfies. It needs an ultimate answer, not one that distracts and leads to more pain. This defines the study and purpose of Buddhism. What causes suffering and how can we relieve suffering. This led to the Buddha’s answers called ‘The Four Noble Truths”.