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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

So let's get started with a discussion around the Co want shared in the last podcast episode. This is where a monk asked toes on when he was Wayne some flax. What is Buddha toes on said? This flax weighs three pounds. Now this is a this is a co on that. I really enjoy. Because they've mentioned before the the the whole point of these Cohen's at times seems to be for me at least that they're trying to get us out of conceptual thinking and back into the experiential into the present moment and that's exactly what this Cohen does take your in the middle of Wayne some flax Jason. Someone says what is Buddha. That's a concept what it's an idea but you know what surreal. This flax weighs three pounds. And that's exactly what the Monk Quist was teaching in this co- On and I think it's a it's a really fun and a simple and a profound lesson that The questions that we ask sometimes sometimes. Sometimes it's the question that's the problem in other words. Sometimes the absurdity of the question merits an answer like this. You know there's another another co on that The Whole Cohen says what is the color of wind and that to me. It's like what you could wrestle with that question all day long long but if you fail to understand that the the problem with that is the question itself. That's just the wrong question. It's absurd question but we do that. We have questions. And they entertain the thoughts in our minds. And they distract us from the experiential and this Cohen is one of those invitations to bring back to reality and in this specific case reality. Is that this flax weighs three pounds. So I like this. It reminds ends me to stay mindful of of the questions that I'm entertaining now. I think I've mentioned this in previous podcast episode but one of the things that really drew you my attention to Buddhism in the first place was the focus on the questions rather than the focus on the answers. Because I feel like a lot of ideologies focus so much on giving you the answers the answers to big existential questions for example what happens when we die or why are we here. Where did we you come from? You're not going to find answers to those questions in a tradition like Buddhism because it is much more focused on the question in in fact it would prioritize the question if you were to ask well what happens when I die. They would say it's more important to know. Why am I asking that question? Or why does that question question matter so much to me and that to me is is a really fascinating way of thinking where you prioritize the question rather than Focus John Given the right answer and I think a lot of times. These Cohen's are trying to do that here. You have a direct question. What is Buddha and the answer? That's given has nothing to do the question because it's reminding you that the question was misguided in the first place because in real life in that moment one thing that's true there or or at least a mattered in that moment is that the flaxseed weighs three pounds and I love the shift there. So that's that's how I interpret that Cohen for me in my own life. I often find myself in the position of the monk. That's asking questions like what is Buddha. What is enlightenment? What what is suffering Can we eliminate suffering questions like that or what is God. Is there a God. You know these are big questions. And that's it's not to say we should dismiss all questions. I love the idea of thinking deeply and I'm glad that people have questions because those big questions lead to ideology alleged philosophy and religions and it gives us something something to work with and something to think about so I'm not trying to minimize minimize or dismiss the question. I'm trying to just emphasize that in this particular case. These Cohen's are helping us to understand and the importance of the experiential in the present moment versus the conceptual. That's taking place somewhere. That's not here and now with the question like what is Buddha versus the flax waste three pounds. It says right there among toes on when he was Wayne. Some flax so autozone is doing something and he's being interrupted with a question that has nothing to do with what he's doing so he's saying the answer. This flax weighs three pounds. That's more important. Didn't and I just love that. I love the way of thinking. They're so those are my thoughts on the co on from last week. But this kind of leads into the topic that I wanted to discuss in in the podcast episode today. The problem with suffering and this kind of started with a question that I received seve someone was asking me would unenlightened persons. Still suffer or mourn over the loss of a loved one or over. Say the pain of a broken bone the things of that nature and in a way it left me thinking of this Cohen. Because I'd been thinking about the coin all week when that question came in and almost thought we'll so there's no appropriate answer to the question because to me. That question is flawed. It's it's not. It's not the right question. The real question would be pertaining to whatever it is we were doing in that moment. I started thinking about it later and thinking About the problem with the word suffering the problem problem with the Word Enlightenment and lightened person. What is an enlightened person? Why would an enlightened person not suffering over the loss of a loved one so this got me thinking thinking you know in Buddhism were always talking about suffering and the word suffering we we we discuss it in the context of three different types of suffering the suffering of suffering suffering which is essentially pain? Right like a broken bone the suffering of loss when we lose a loved one or a job or we're nostalgic for the past like that's the suffering one of loss and then there's a third type of suffering that we talk about often which is all pervasive suffering and it got me thinking what if what we really have Abbas just an error in word choice. It's like we're jumping through hoops. Trying to make the word suffering work for a concept or an idea that maybe the problem with suffering is the word itself the word suffering and what that word means to us and we know that to some extent. That's absolutely true because in the the original teachings what is being talked about as suffering doesn't necessarily mean suffering the actual word is Duca. But you can't take an idea from one language and then explain the idea and another language without translating the word so right there from the very get go. You have the first problem which were do we choose. And unfortunately in our case the word that has been most commonly used is suffering and the problem with concepts and ideas and words. You know everything is just a concept. It's all stories so they're inherited from our society from our culture culture from her religion from our families but including and especially words the words themselves so suffering is a word that has meaning meaning. And we've inherited that meaning you know somebody at some point described. What suffering is to you but imagine how would someone undescribed suffering to you without using any words? How would you convey that to another person to help them understand what it is to suffer? We can't really do that. You could feel it and then and then recognize. Oh this is that feeling that they're talking about but suffering is a word and so we're kind of stuck with the the meaning that society has given us for what that word means and that's the problem we run into with every word the whether it's enlightenment or or suffering so just to address a little bit I think what we what we really want to get the where Duka we we know has other translations and scholars have since talked about you know maybe using a different word like unsatisfactory nece and and that's a word that lately I've been using more in my mind like that the idea of unsatisfactory nece but going back really quick to enlightenment. It's the same problem right. The idea of enlightenment agreement is a story so thinking you are enlightened. Well that's just a story and thinking that you're not enlightened. We'll also just story and I love the Cohen on that. I've talked about before the gate list gate. Where jewelry is being asked to enter this gate and he sees no need to enter the gate because he doesn't see himself as being outside aside and that to me is a really profound understanding of this concept or or this idea of enlightenment? How can you enter a space that you're not outside of right? It's it's impossible. How can I enter a room if I'm already in that room? And that is the teaching in this co- on on of the gate Lewis Gate and think of the implication of that profound lesson. When you apply it to something like the concept of enlightenment so going back to the original question that someone someone is asking me would an enlightened person? It's like okay. Well we gotTA stop there. What is an enlightened person to you because we may not be seeing that the same? I don't think there's such a the thing I think the whole concept of enlightened as it's just a concept and I think a lot of people get hung up on concepts and ideas like enlightenment and would suffering which is what I wanted to talk about in this episode. We know we can't stick with the original word because we don't even know what that means unless someone tells us will what does translate the word for me will now. You've got the problem. You opened up the can of worms so I would like to have US consider for a moment unsatisfactory satisfactory nece as a more appropriate word that we could use and I understand that it's difficult to do this because any time someone comes along and says we'll we'll wait. What if this word makes more sense others will say well? Now you're changing the whole thing and I ran into this when I was writing my book. No nonsense Buddhism for beginners. I I was talking about the four noble truths and the concept of of suffering and that Because we talk about how in life there is suffering and then later you're talking about a way to end suffering but these concepts are really difficult to use if you're limited with your understanding of the word suffering so what I was trying trying to help. The publisher understand is that when I'm referring to suffering here I'm referring to the Buddhist understanding of suffering which is all pervasive that suffering which if somebody in Western society thinks of the words suffering and then you talk about the idea of eliminating suffering. You're running into a whole lot of problems here because first you have to unpack what suffering actually means from the Buddhist perspective rather than what suffering means to an to the average western way of thinking. But I couldn't couldn't get around that I couldn't interject other words because the publisher said well the most common way that Buddhists talk about Duka is suffering. So so you're just gonNA use the word suffering and that's what I was limited to so in a way my hands are tied. And it's like okay. Well I'll explain this concept using the only words that and I'm allowed to use and in this case suffering was one of those words so again I was presented with the problem of suffering where the problem of suffering is the word itself so I feel a sense of discomfort or and satisfactory nece at times in my life and that's separate separate from what I feel when I'm feeling Elaine suffering and in that sense I like to remember. It's totally okay. There's no problem with with experiencing suffering. I experience suffering at times in life. And that's okay. That's not the problem. The only problem with suffering is when we think we shouldn't experience suffering or even worse. We think there's some magical way to eventually avoid or eliminate suffering altogether and. That's a problematic thought. That's problematic concept or belief or idea idea to hold unless you start impacting a lot of things in there. What the suffering actually mean? And there's just not a way to eliminate suffering in the general general sense that we think of suffering so. I wanted to discuss that a little bit in this podcast episode. I think we should quit striving to only only feel good in our lives and instead we should strive to be good at feeling feeling. Whatever it is that we're feeling instances of suffering are a great invitation to pause in that moment and really pay attention to what we're