Two and a half thousand years ago, motivated by a profound need to understand the nature of grief, sorrow, anger and unhappiness, Prince Siddhartha Gautama set out from the foothills of the Himalayas in search of “truth”. After years of wandering he arrived in the lowlands of the Ganges River in northern India near the village of Bodh Gaya. He sat down in front of a tree and vowed never to arise until he had found this elusive truth. After 49 days of meditating, at the age of 35, he attained “Enlightenment”. Gautama, from then on, was known as The Buddha – The Enlightened One. At this point, he is believed to have found complete “awakening” and “insight” into the nature and cause of human suffering.
What did the Buddha mean when he explained his discoveries, in that life was filled with an inordinate amount of suffering? In his explanations, he used the word “Dukkha” which in the west we’ve translated as “suffering”. But in actuality the word “Dukkha” has many connotations. You might think of “Dukkha” as meaning a deep level of “unsatisfactoriness” which ranges from mundane, unpleasant emotions such as frustration, angst, dislike, and unhappiness … and continues on up the scale to emotional tortures such as misery, agony, grief, woe and despair.
The world may be improving “technologically”, but suffering, sorrow and unhappiness are more prevalent than ever before. Every single year, the percentage of the world’s population which turns to relief from suffering via anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, alcohol, and sleeping pills is dramatically increasing. Why do people resort to often unhealthy methods as an escape from their stress and sorrow? The answer is simple … they can’t stop thinking (having thoughts, feelings and emotions) about the things that cause them emotional misery. Our minds are not trained to avoid dwelling on topics which make us unhappy. Notice the keyword “dwelling”… Do you spent extended periods of time dwelling on thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you’d rather not have?
The Buddha recognized this natural tendency in his fellow humans, and developed a simple methodology to allow you to willfully change the nature of your mind (to “train the mind” such that it becomes a Truly Useful tool) such that your “Naturally Arising Thoughts” (those thoughts, feelings and emotions that you have when you’re not “paying attention to your thinking”) are predominantly peaceful, tranquil, content, happy, and satisfying.
According to legend, immediately after his enlightenment the Buddha felt that he should not try to teach his findings to his fellow human beings. He was concerned that his realization was too subtle, deep, and hard to understand for the average personâ€¦ persons who often seemed blinded by their own greed and hatred. Legend goes on to say that the Hindu God Brahma begged Siddhartha to begin teaching his discoveries and assured the newly illuminated young man that he would find those who would understand his teachings. As the story continues to tell, in his compassion for all beings, Siddhartha relented and agreed to begin a search for students who might be ready to receive his newly found wisdom in the hopes that his students would pass to the rest of the world the enlightened understanding of the cause of suffering.
The teachings of the Buddha were flexible enough to adapt to the changes over the centuries within cultures and societies, and the methods work just as well today as they did thousands of years ago. In our free classes, you will learn the how to use the Buddha’s teaching in your everyday life such that your mind (your thinking … your thoughts, feelings and emotions) becomes a tool that is completely under your personal control.
You will learn an amazing truth that the Buddha discovered so many centuries ago…that once you understand the cause of your sorrow, unhappiness, and discontent, you can then take steps to remove these causes. Once your mind begins to no longer dwell on thoughts, feelings and emotions that make you miserable, you discover an amazing fact ! You discover that happiness (joy, tranquility, contentment, fulfillment, etc.) exists within you and was simply covered by the many layers of “unwanted thoughts”. In the modern field of Positive Psychology (the branch of Psychology that focuses on what makes life excellent, joyful, meaningful, and fulfilling) they call this “Innate Happiness”. Peace, contentment, tranquility, serenity are waiting to simply be “revealed” by the removal of the many layers of habitual (and usually unpleasant) thinking.