SUFFERING

Fourth, the contemplation on the faults of existence and the aspiration to engage in Dharma.

The continuous character of the three realms of samsara is an ocean of suffering. By remembering this, may my mind turn to the holy Dharma. Thus the root verses say.

In general, human beings suffer from the four great rivers of suffering, which are birth, old age, sickness, and death. Furthermore, humans espe- cially have the suffering of the anxiety of encountering enemies, the suffer- ing of the prospect of separating from loved ones, the suffering of sudden unwanted events, and the suffering of not being able to acquire what is desired. Future suffering that begins before previous suffering has finished is called the suffering of suffering. Even though at present one may be extremely content and happy, this happiness can suddenly change to suf- fering with the occurrence of some circumstance of suffering; this is called the suffering of change. Although suffering may not be conspicuous in the present, whatever thoughts or actions have occurred are the seeds of suf- fering that have been planted. This is called pervasive compounded suffer- ing. Since there is no one in existence who is not bound by the chains of these three types of suffering, therefore, wherever one is born within the three realms of samsara, the continuous character of suffering is vast and deep like the ocean. By remembering this nature ofsuffering, may my mind wish only to reach the constant state of bliss and turn to the holy Dharma, which is the sublime path to liberation.

A Cascading Waterfall of Nectar
by Thinley Norbu
Shambhala Publishing