There’s a path that’s the end of suffering.May 01, 2021
This story comes to you from India, which is reeling from a brutal second wave of Covid. In the midst of such widespread suffering, death and grief, I’m reminded of India’s greatest spiritual teacher, the Buddha, whose birth anniversary is celebrated on May 26th, the date of this year’s first total lunar eclipse.
When the Buddha achieved enlightenment there wasn’t great fanfare to proclaim his state. All that happened was this: He remained silent.
What’s there to say of the suffering that precedes the light?
And yet there hadn’t ever been a person born who could proclaim its solution. So the gods gathered to find a reason which would inspire Buddha to speak and share his wisdom.
When approached, the Buddha insisted on his silence. “Either you get it or you don’t,” he pronounced. Then the creator, Brahma, countered, “True all that you say, but there are those who aren’t quite in the dark and not quite in the light. They need your help. They need you to speak.”
So Buddha spoke to those in the dawn of awakening, who aren’t quite ignorant and yet not quite enlightened. He shared four essential truths: Suffering is real. Suffering has a cause. Suffering has an end. And there’s a path to the end of suffering.
The transits of May give us the opportunity to contemplate these four noble truths in sequential order, beginning on the 1st of the month when the Moon sits opposite Mars, which is transiting Ardra—“The Difficult.”
Suffering is real. There’s no way to spiritually bypass the happenings in our world. They’re all real and have no reason for their appearance except for your enlightenment.
Suffering has a cause. Buddha says the cause of suffering is our ignorance, which is avidya in Sanskrit. Avidya means something deeper than a lack of education. It means not being able to see what’s behind the appearance of suffering.
On May 15th four planets align in Taurus that form a stellium, a pure column of light. There’s an opportunity then to see what this world disturbance is showing you about who you are. It’s a chance for a deep dive into truth and to apply that to your highest purpose for being here.
Suffering has an end. On May 26th—the Full Moon—we encounter the year’s first total lunar eclipse. It’s also the anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and final nirvana.
Eclipses are erasures. They’re resets. They’re a chance to gather and begin again. The Buddha described himself as the Tathagata, “the one who’s gone to That,” the most primal and clear place from which we all arose. There’s a chance for all of us to let go and let God.
There’s a path that’s the end of suffering. It’s a strange irony that when you fully let go then everything is given. The path—the solution—just rises up to meet you as the Irish say. There is a path ahead. And it’s already been given to you. When the dawn comes after the storm, you’ll be able to speak it.
There’s no better time than now to Start Your Journey.
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