Is meditation like renunciation?
This is a little bit deeper into the Eightfold Path. We have not discussed much about this, yet.
In the fold of Wisdom, are two things; Wise View – or Wise Understanding – of things, which are the four Noble Truths. This is how we are developing our wisdom. When we are very young, we learn not to touch a fire, because it hurts. That’s the first, building wisdom; it hurts, move away from it.
The second is Wise Attitude. Once we have the knowledge of these Four Noble Truths, that are the core of wisdom, then we can go forward in life with the right attitude. These are the intentions of
- letting go
- practicing Loving-kindness
- not harming
These are the three opposites to greed, hate and delusion.
We learn to walk forward in life with the right mindset, the right intention, which is about letting go of always having this selfish view of things, only about me and myself. To move into an all-inclusive kind of happiness that comes from wisdom. This is simply due to the fact that we are tricked to believe that our own happiness is about getting things for me, right now. And that is true; we need certain things, but our happiness is very, very much supported and dependent on all beings’ happiness. The Buddha’s teaching is to also realize this and to develop the right kind of attitude and intention.
Letting go is the whole of the Buddha’s teaching, and what he discovered is that craving is the root of all suffering. And to let go, to relinquish, is the completely other kind of the spectrum. It is the complete opposite.
Sometimes this concept is hard to understand for a lot of people, and not really tangible in the here and now. That’s why I directly relate it to generosity and meditation. Meditation is basically not depending on anything, anyone outside.
Craving is the root of the unwholesome, and selfish desire, anger and impatience; all these unskillful unwholesome states all arise from that. When we practice meditation, we actually practice letting go of that, because these states are all included – now we’re getting a little deeper in the Path – in this me, my selfishness. And we are letting go of that.
Anger; where does it arise from, who is angry; it’s not going the way I want it to go. This is a little bit later in the Path and I’m not going to go into these grounds yet, but it’s all rooted in this me, myself and I. Truly, liberation comes about when we learn to not take things so personal, and not to take ourselves so seriously, and relinquish these unwholesome states.