Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 32 – The Four Noble Truths: The Cessation of Dukkha

Cessation of Dukkha

Joseph continues his series on the Four Noble Truths. This week: The Cessation of Dukkha.

The third of the Four Noble Truths is the cessation of dukkha, which is the ending of our suffering by letting go of attachment. Joseph explains the teachings of the Buddha on the cessation of dukkha and how to apply them in our practice.

If you are behind, catch up with parts one and two first.


Show Notes

Freedom of Thought (Opening) – What liberates the mind? There are many methods, traditions, and vocabularies for how to do so, but there is one essential taste of freedom described in all Buddhist traditions, “liberation through non-clinging.”

Breaking Habits (7:00) – How do we let go of our attachments and experience a mind free of craving for ourselves? We have deeply conditioned habits of holding on which we can begin to decondition in a variety of ways. Each of these methods has its own strengths and cautions. One way we abandon craving is through an increasingly refined awareness of the three characteristics: impermanence, dukkha, and non-self. One way we abandon craving is through an increasingly refined awareness of the three characteristics: impermanence, dukkha, and non-self.

The Truth of Change (13:20) – There are times in meditation when the perception of change becomes so refined that things are disappearing the very moment that they are arising. This quality of impermanence is found throughout life, and yet we continue to hold on to the illusion that the most important things to us like our health, wealth, loves, and desires will last forever. When we first begin to awaken to this rapidity of change there is a dichotomy of excitement in the experience of fluidity, and despair of the constant disillusion of things we held on to.

Path and Fruition Consciousness (25:30) – There are times when we experience a moment of absolute pause. In that moment of fruition, there is a sense of relief, of ease, and stillness. This place of ease is an example of what we are seeking in the cessation of dukkha. Moments like this serve to uproot certain deeply conditioned attachments and weaken others, the first attachment being our wrongful attachment to self.

“There is a sphere wherein there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor air. Where there is neither this world nor world beyond; no sun, no moon. There, monks, I declare, there is no coming, no going, no stopping, no passing away, no arising. It is not established; it continues not; it has no object. This indeed is the end of suffering.”

The Bliss of Nibbana (32:10) – Nibbana is the state of existence free from craving, the true cessation of dukkha. It is with this unmanifest consciousness that we cross the flood of Samsara. Joseph discusses how the Buddha attained Nibbana and what that means for us.

The Unshakable Deliverance of Mind (42:20) – There are times when we begin to think we are freeing ourselves, but in reality, that freedom is dependent on circumstances. The deeper freedom of which we are looking for, is found in the Third Noble Truth, comes from a profound shift of understanding. This shift in understanding is a state where the sense of self-reference has been purified, precisely through the experience of the unconditioned.

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