The Path

It Isn't All Suffering.

Compared to minds timeless space like luminous nature everything else pales in comparison.
Maybe you’ve even experienced this already briefly…
Staring at a sunset
Looking at a newborn child smile
Seeing your loved one across a crowded room
In the ecstasy of orgasm
Hearing a piece of music that makes time virtually stop
Floating in the ocean
Feeling a cool breeze on a warm sunny day
That first bite of a piece of cake
All of these wonderful things are mere drops of water compared to the ocean of bliss that is found in the enlightened state of mind.
It isn’t all suffering.
But there is suffering.
In us.
In others.
In believing that happiness, I mean true authentic happiness can be found through external things, circumstances or even people.
Suffering: We must first see it. Hold it gently. Speak softly and compassionately to it saying, “I’m here for you. I’m here for you my dear.”
Then we must see clearly and compassionately what is causing our suffering, unease or the general malaise that we’re feeling.
We then must resolve to discover the thoughts, words and actions that may be contributing to our pain. To find the things that we’re doing to hurt ourselves and more than likely discover what we’re doing that is harming others.
Then we can begin to stop thinking, speaking and acting in ways that are unskillful and harmful.
We discover what is essential. That we actually need very few things to survive. And that things in general can’t make us happy. A new job or more money won’t ultimately make us happy. A new and perfect partner won’t do the trick either.
These things are wonderful and if we are blessed with any or all of them we do what we can to honour and cherish them. But we don’t become attached to them.
So we begin to turn inwardly. Because we’ve discovered no basis for true and lasting happiness can be found within the conditioned ever changing world.
Not to say there’s no beautiful and joyous moments. There’s plenty of them. Like walking hand in hand down the street with someone you love.
But we’re looking for something rare. Something that will last. Something that can never be taken away from us.
We go within and start to explore and tap into an inner landscape that is very different than the world we normally play in.
And when we begin to peel away our layers of hopes and fears, desires and dislikes, our preferences and prejudices, our constructs and concepts of who we are and who we think were supposed to be.
We start to reveal to ourselves something that just might be what were actually looking for. Something that’s been there the whole time. Waiting patiently for us to stop playing our games. Knowing that in time we would find it. How can we not because it is the very essence of who we are.
It’s like a striptease of the mind. Letting go layer upon layer of stuff that is hiding our true beauty. A magnificence beyond words. A radiance that is causeless, timeless and deathless. It is beyond anything that we’ve ever dreamed of being possible for ourselves.
And once we get a glimpse of that potential our lives will never ever be the same.

By Ian Marshall

Ian Paul Marshall has been initiated by the Dalai Lama, is trained in Zen as transmitted through the teachings of the Venerable Dr. Thich Thien-An and Seung Sahn Dae Jong Sa and is the founder of based out of Toronto, Canada.