Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 185 – Suffering And The Illusion Of Self

Joseph Goldstein investigates the links between suffering, compassion, and the concept of the self.

This dharma talk, recorded on July 2, 1994, was originally published on Dharma Seed.

“When we’re associated with what we don’t want, it’s suffering. And when we are separated from what we do want, it’s suffering. And this is the push-pull happening throughout our lives.” – Joseph Goldstein

In this talk, Joseph:
  • Breaks down the three kinds of suffering according to the Buddha
  • Advises us to remain open to suffering, reminding us that avoiding or resisting pain and unpleasant mind states only serves to feed them
  • Posits that compassion grows from letting suffering in
  • Proposes that we drop into the flow of existence
  • Asserts that the root cause of suffering is our deeply conditioned senses of self 
About Joseph Goldstein:

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and loving-kindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Listen to more from Joseph:
In the search for liberation, we must explore the nature of our existence. Joseph investigates the wisdom of impermanence in Insight Hour Ep. 2.
There are deeper levels of truth about reality. Joseph explores different ways of freeing the mind by understanding the habits of preference and the emptiness of thoughts in Insight Hour Ep. 41.
It’s possible to smile at the antics of one’s own mind. Joseph offers responses to questions about selflessness, shame, cravings, and more in Insight Hour Ep. 111.
Metta practice can penetrate deeply. Joseph explores how love, kindness, gratitude, and friendship can revolutionize our lives in Insight Hour Ep. 117.