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 Nature of Suffering

When Buddha turned the Wheel of Dharma, the first thing he taught was the truth of suffering—the suffering of all sentient beings. What is the meaning of meditating on the suffering of all sentient beings? What is the use of it?  

We all have fear of suffering, but we do not know exactly what it is. We do not find anyone who understands suffering, unless they understand the very nature of suffering.  

Everyone in our society is afraid of suffering. People who look very powerful outwardly are as afraid of suffering as we are. It does not matter whether you are poor or rich, powerful or weak, we all have this fear of suffering.  

Ironically, when we comprehend our life’s activities, we discover that there is this secret activity going on—that we are trying to escape from suffering. We never have the chance to understand what suffering is because we are always avoiding it.  

But what is suffering? Does it truly exist or not? In our mind, we have this entrenched belief system that suffering truly exists in the form of outer circumstances, such as loss and sickness. This belief, in turn, creates the false idea that there is also happiness (which is the opposite of suffering) that can be acquired through favorable circumstances, such as being powerful or having lots of money. This deeply rooted belief system is our habitual cage, one that we have willfully imprisoned ourselves in for many lifetimes. We experience the suffering of suffering because we avoid it.
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