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egoic suffering


Direct Path


Human suffering arising from the part of the mind that is responsible for creating the ordinary sense of personal identity, the everyday sense that we all have of being separate, unique, individuals.  In other words, our human suffering is created by our mistaken belief that who or what we are is the same as our personhood, the same as our egoic self.  All human suffering follows from this universal and fundamental error of personal identity.


In Buddhism, Samsara is the universal experience of human suffering.  The cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and dying again. Samsara is considered to be dukkha, suffering, and in general unsatisfactory and painful, perpetuated by desire and avidya (ignorance), and the resulting karma.


The direct path is a path of spiritual enquiry wherein one goes directly to truth, rather than slowly evolving through steps (step by step teachings are referred to as the “progressive path”).  The direct path is a process of seeing through the beliefs of who and what we think we are, and being pointed directly to what we actually are.


In Buddhism to awaken is to learn the art of living one’s life as and from the inner truth of one’s being.  To awaken is to escape from the delusion of our egoic identity.  To awaken we must learn that we are not the endless collage of thoughts continually produced and constantly recycled by our minds.  We are not the thought-based mosaic of past ideas, feelings, opinions, judgments, insecurities, preferences, aversions, etc., that when combined all together create the illusory sense of “me”.  Awakening is the experiential realization that what we truly are is prior to all of that.  We are the pure being that is prior to all thought, perception and experience.  Pure, ever-present, spacious, openness of being.  When all of the distractions, created in the mind, are stripped away because they are seen as the illusion that they are, we return to our true selves.  We can then inhabit ourselves and the world as the inherently peaceful presence of being that we always and already are.  And of course, this changes everything.


Meditation is a way of observing and thus learning about our mind.  Through meditation, the mind is seen in proper perspective, in proper relationship to one’s true self, to one’s true identity.  When the mind is experienced in this way, we can awaken to the truth of our human identity and as a result, our lived human experience becomes transformed.  When our true identity is restored, we can live in complete harmony with life, complete peace and equanimity.


Self-inquiry is the practice of inwardly asking the question “Who or what am I ?”  and rather than answering this question by exclusively using one's thinking mind, the seeker lets the answer reveal itself more intuitively through a combination of contemplation and meditative experience.  The resulting revelation is that the everyday sense of who we are, of our personal identity is not at all what it seems to be.


Buddhism maintains that all sentient beings possess Buddha nature.  That being the inherent potential to attain Buddhahood.  Buddhahood is a state of awakening, awakening from our constricted egoic identity, to our natural state of openness, harmony, peace, compassion and wisdom.


Egoic beings are human beings who exclusively identify with (and as) the ordinary sense of personhood, the everyday sense that they are limited, separate and unique persons.  Identifying as a separate entity or as an individual egoic being is the primary belief that veils our true identity.  Our true identity, our true self is ever-present, unlimited, self-aware presence, our awakened Buddha Nature.

Self Inquiry
Egoic Beings
Budda Nature
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