Nirvana in Buddhism is The End of All Suffering

Remove wrong perceptions and you remove suffering

In Buddhism, we speak of nirvana which is the cessation of all suffering. Nirvana, first of all, it means the cessation, the extinction of all suffering. But our suffering come from our wrong perceptions. Avidia, misunderstanding. And that is why the practice of meditation, the practice of looking deeply has the purpose of removing wrong perceptions from us. If you are able to remove wrong perceptions, you will be able to be free from the afflictions and the sufferings that always arise from wrong perceptions. You have wrong perception on yourself and on the other, and the other has wrong perception on themselves and on you and that is the cause of fear, of violence, of hatred. That is why trying to remove wrong perceptions is the only way to peace. And that is why nirvana is, first of all, the removal of wrong perceptions. And when you remove wrong perceptions, you remove the suffering. Ultimate reality is free from birth, and dying To meditate deeply, you find out that even ideas like being and non-being, birth and death, coming and going, are wrong ideas. If you can touch reality in that, you realize that ultimate reality is free from birth, from dying, from coming, from going, from being, from non-being. That is why nirvana is, first of all, a removal of notions of ideas that serve the ways of misunderstanding and suffering. If you are afraid of death, of nothingness, of non-being, because you have wrong perceptions on death and on nonbeing. The French scientist, Lavoure, said there is no birth, there is no death. He observed

reality around him and came to the conclusion that it isn¶t so great, it isn¶t so bad. The notion of death cannot be applied to reality When you look at a cloud, you think of the cloud as being. And later on when the cloud become the rain, you don¶t see the cloud anymore and you say the cloud is not there. And you describe the cloud as non-being. But if you look deeply, you can see the cloud in the rain and that is why it¶s impossible for a cloud to die. A cloud can become rain, snow or ice, but a cloud cannot become nothing. And that is why the notion of death cannot be applied to reality. There is a transformation, there is a continuation, but you cannot say that there is death because in your mind to die means from something, you suddenly become nothing. From someone, you suddenly become no one, and so the notion of death cannot apply to reality, whether to a cloud or to a human being.

Solving Communication Problems in Relationships
One person looking at the roots of your suffering is good, two people looking at it is better
Suppose your partner says something unkind to you, and you feel hurt. If you reply right away, you risk making the situation worse. The best practice is to breathe in and out to calm yourself, and when you are calm enough, say, "Darling, what you just said hurt me. I would like to look deeply into it, and I would like you to look deeply into it, also." Then you can make an appointment for Friday evening to look at it together. One person looking at the roots of your suffering is good, two people looking at it is better, and two people looking together is best. Calm down and look deeply I propose Friday evening for two reasons. First, you are still hurt, and if you begin discussing it now, it may be too risky. You might say things that will make the situation worse. From now until Friday evening, you can practice looking deeply into the nature of your suffering, and the other person can also. While driving the car, he might ask himself, "What is so serious? Why did she get so upset? There must be a reason." While driving, you will also have a chance to look deeply into it. Before Friday night, one or both of you may see the root of the problem and be able to tell each other and apologize. Then on Friday night, you can have a cup of tea together and enjoy each other. If you make an appointment, you will both have time to calm down and look deeply. This is the practice of meditation. Meditation is to calm ourselves and to look deeply into the nature of our suffering.

Using loving speech and good quailty listening When Friday night comes, if the suffering hasn't been transformed, you will be able to practice the art of Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin) - one person expressing herself, while the other person listens deeply. When you speak, you tell the deepest kind of truth, using loving speech, the kind of speech the other person can understand and accept. While listening, you know that your listening must be of a good quality to relieve the other person of his suffering and solve the communication problems in the relationship. A second reason for waiting until Friday is that when you neutralize that feeling on Friday evening, you have Saturday and Sunday to enjoy being together.

Freedom From Fear and Wrong Views
With great understanding, you are no longer afraid of being born, of dying
In the light of the teaching, everything is impermanent. Nothing in reality can remain exactly the same in two consecutive moments. But nothing is lost, and creation in Buddhism means manifestation. From nothing, you cannot become something. So creation, if you look deeply, it is really a continuation of manifestation. If you don¶t manifest in this way, then you manifest in that way like the cloud and the snow. So if you get that, you are no longer afraid. And that is your supernatural power already if you have non-fear. And then you are quite different from other because you are subjected to fear, fear of dying, fear of being nothing. But with non-fear in you with that deep wisdom in you, you become supernatural. You are no longer immortal, but you don¶t need to be a god because a god is supposed not to be a human being. So to say that the Buddha has a supernatural power, that is true also, but he does not need to be a god in order to have that. He needs only to have freedom. Freedom from wrong views and freedom from fear. It¶s like birth and death are like waves and you are riding on the waves of birth and death and you go without fear. It¶s wonderful. That is supernatural power. The Buddha did have teachers. He followed a number of teachers and he practiced with communities and he had made some progress in his path of looking deeply, but he realized finally that this kind of realization was not enough for his liberation. And that is why he had to continue by himself. Sitting at the foot of the Bodhi tree, he was able to make a breakthrough and discover the nature of interdependence, the nature of interbeing. He discovered the way of looking deeply and he could transcend his idea of birth and death, coming and going, being and non-being, and he was completely liberated from

suffering. The happiness, the salvation of Buddha was possible thanks to maha prajna, great understanding. And when you got great understanding, you are no longer afraid of being born, of dying, and that is why you want to share your insight and your practice with other people.

The River and the Clouds
Once upon a time there was a beautiful river finding her way among the hills, forests, and meadows. She began by being a joyful stream of water, a spring always dancing and singing as she ran down from the top of the mountain. She was very young at the time, and as she came to the lowland she slowed down. She was thinking about going to the ocean. As she grew up, she learned to look beautiful, winding gracefully among the hills and meadows. One day she noticed the clouds within herself. Clouds of all sorts of colors and forms. She did nothing during these days but chase after clouds. She wanted to possess a cloud, to have one for herself. But clouds float and travel in the sky, and they are always changing their form. Sometimes they look like an overcoat, sometimes like a horse. Because of the nature of impermanence within the clouds, the river suffered very much. Her pleasure, her joy had become just chasing after clouds, one after another, but despair, anger,and hatred became her life. Then one day a strong wind came and blew away all the clouds in the sky. The sky became completely empty. Our river thought that life was not worth living, for there were no longer any clouds to chase after. She wanted to die. "If there are no clouds, why should I be alive?" But how can a river take her own life? That night the river had the opportunity to go back to herself for the first time. She had been running for so long after something outside of herself that she had never seen herself. That night was the first opportunity for her to hear her own crying, the sounds of water crashing against the banks of the river. Because she was able to listen to her own voice, she discovered something quite important. She realized that what she had been looking for was already in herself. She found out that clouds are nothing but water. Clouds are born from water and will return to water. And she found out she herself was also water. The next morning when the sun was in the sky, she discovered something beautiful. She saw the blue sky for the first time. She had never noticed it before. She had only been interested in clouds, and she had missed seeing the sky, which is the home of all the clouds. Clouds are impermanent, but the sky is stable. She realized that the immense sky had been within her heart since the very beginning. This great insight brought her peace and happiness. As she saw the vast wonderful blue sky, she knew that her peace and stability would never be lost again.

That afternoon the clouds returned, but this time she did not want to possess any of them. She could see the beauty of each cloud, and she was able to welcome all of them. When a cloud came by, she would greet him or her with loving-kindness. When the cloud wanted to go away, she would wave to him or her happily and with loving kindness. She realized that all clouds are her. She didn't have to choose between the clouds and herself. Peace and harmony existed between her and the clouds. That evening something wonderful happened. When she opened her heart completely to the evening sky she received the image of the full moon - beautiful, round, like a jewel within herself. She had never imagined that she could receive such a beautiful image. There is a very beautiful poem in Chinese: "The fresh and beautiful moon is travelling in the utmost empty sky. When the mind-rivers of living beings are free, that image of the beautiful moon will reflect in each of us." This was the mind of the river at that moment. She received the image of that beautiful moon within her heart, and water, clouds, and moon took each other's hands and practiced walking meditation slowly, slowly to the ocean. There is nothing to chase after. We can go back to ourselves, enjoy our breathing, our smiling, ourselves, and our beautiful environment.

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