Updated: Apr 5, 2021
The Second Noble Truth
Buddhism is all about suffering. To be truly happy and attain enlightenment means we truly eliminate suffering.
All of the sentient beings want to be happy, that’s what is driving us to do one thing or another. But because we are attached to so many things and have so many delusions, sometimes we use the wrong methods to gain happiness and as a result we are always suffering. Accepting life’s imperfections helps relieve suffering.
Meditating on suffering is really important not only because meditation in general is the path to end suffering. Meditation is the act of clearing one’s mind and connecting with the universe.
Meditation helps you to mange your thoughts and clear your head from unreasonable desires. Lets think of something that made you unhappy and that lead you to suffering.
Lets imagine you are craving for a new outfit, not because you really need one, but just simply because you want it! You get it, you’ll be happy for some time, but then you want something else and something else, its just never gonna be enough.
We continually search for something outside ourselves to make us happy. But no matter how successful we are, we never remain satisfied. Buddhism is not telling us that we must give up everything we love to find happiness. The real issue here is more subtle; it's the attachment to what we desire that gets us into trouble.
We look outside for the object of blame, because we naturally believe that suffering and happiness come from outside of us.
We grow frustrated when the world doesn't behave the way we think it should and our lives don't conform to our expectations.
Living in the present can help alleviate suffering.
However, people feel better when having a sense of predictability. This makes them deny the simple truth that nothing stays the same. Rather than surrender to change, people fight against it.
And yet, change is inevitable. Rather than constantly clinging to the past, or grasping for something better, the Buddha recommends accepting things as they are, at this very moment, by living fully in the present.
If you are still confused about suffering, realize that to fully appreciating what the truths mean takes years of serious continued meditation.
The true cause of suffering
According to Tibetan Buddhism
Desire/Attachment, which is attached to internal or external objects.
Anger, which is hatred upon observing any of nine sources of generating harmful intent; someone who has harmed oneself, is harming oneself, or will harm oneself. Someone why has harmed one’s friend, is harming one’s friend, or will harm one’s friend, or someone who has helped one’s enemy, is helping one’s enemy, or will help one’s enemy. Disturbing Conceptions derived from anger:
✔️aggression ✔️resentment ✔️spite ✔️jealousy ✔️cruelty
Pride, of which there are 7 types:
✔️ pride of thinking of inherently existent I
✔️puffed-up pride thinking oneself superior to the lower people.
✔️fancying oneself superior to those who are equal.
✔️thinking oneself slightly inferior to others, who are actually considerably superior, as in pretending, “Oh, I know almost as much as do on and so does."
✔️pride beyond pride, conceiving oneself to be even greater than superior people ✔️pride in which one fancies that one has powers such as clairvoyance not actually attained
✔️thinking one has attained special powers
Ignorance, which in this context is a non-realizing consciousness that obstructs one from seeing the actual mode of subsistence of objects. Ignorance is of two types, of actions and their effects and of suchness.
Doubt, is a two-pointed mind.
✔️concealment ✔️dullness✔️non-faith✔️laziness ✔️forgetfulness ✔️inattentiveness
The Second Noble Truth
The Second Truth is not telling us we have to give up what we love and enjoy in life. Instead, the Second Truth asks us to look deeper into the nature of craving and how we relate to the things we love and enjoy.
The Second Noble Truth explains the origins of dukkha (suffering). The Second Truth often is summarized as "Dukkha is caused by desire," but there's more to it than that.
The Pali word translated as "craving" is tanha, which more literally means "thirst." It's important to understand that craving is not the only cause of life's difficulties. It is only the most obvious cause, the most evident symptom.
The Buddha described three kinds of craving -- craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming. Let's look at these.
Sensual desire is easy to spot. We all know what it's like to want to eat one french fry after another because we crave the taste, not because we are hungry.
An example of craving for becoming would be a desire to be famous or powerful.
Craving for non-becoming is a desire to get rid of something. It might be a craving for annihilation or something more mundane, such as a desire to be rid of a wart on one's nose.
Grasping and Clinging
It may be that the things we crave are not harmful things. We might crave becoming a philanthropist, or a monk, or a doctor. It's the craving that's the problem, not the thing craved.
The Second Noble Truth does not ask us to withdraw from the world and cut ourselves off from everything we enjoy and everyone we love. To do so would just be more craving -- becoming or not-becoming. Instead, it asks us to enjoy and to love without clinging; without possessing, grasping, trying to manipulate.
The Second Noble Truth asks us to be mindful of craving; to observe and understand it. And it calls on us to do something about it.
As long as we perceive ourselves to be separate from everything else, the craving will continue.