Understanding, abandoning, experiencing and bringing into being

Tradition tells us that soon after his awakening the Buddha summed up what had happened as he sat beneath the tree of awakening in terms of the arising in him of a particular vision, knowledge, wisdom, understanding, clarity concerning four things, namely suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation; moreover that vision, knowledge, wisdom, understanding and clarity had three dimensions to it in each case:

The Way of the Worrier

Worry expands to fill the time available for it. People actually need to worry if they lack food or shelter. For those who have the means of subsistence and comfort, worry becomes an end in itself. Or rather, it becomes a means to a particular end. That end is to avoid thinking about, and dealing with, unsatisfactoriness.

The Three Signs

Contemplating the three signs is a way to help loosen our attachment to the ideas of permanence, pleasure and a permanent self. These are all attractive concepts for most of us, but the Buddha taught that attachment to these leads to unhappiness. Firstly permanence; we want to live in a dependable world where we, and those we care about, continue indefinitely. Logically we know this is unrealistic but because a lot of change is gradual we can ignore the fact that nothing conditioned is permanent.

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