Oakville Zen Meditation

#408 Illusion, Delusion: main sources of suffering Aug. 7th 22

                  DHARMA:  Illusion and Delusion: main sources of suffering

The optimal goal of Zen-Buddhism practice is to control, if not eliminate suffering.

The word “suffering” is better translated as “negativities in its broader sense” that is

any situations and feelings affecting us negatively i.e. Struggling, anger, sadness, resentment, anxiety, unhappiness, jealousy, etc.

Sources of negativity or suffering are called ‘poisons”. There are the 3 of them.

I WANT ...............(desire, clinging, greed, control, ongoing happiness for not getting..... )

I DON’T WANT.... (hatred, refusal, resistance, dislike for getting not what you want....)

IGNORANCE is defined as an illusion, a delusion from the factual realities of life.

This week, I am going to describe only the most frequent sources of Ignorance that is illusion and delusion. This list is not exhaustive.            

1-Since they come from our mind, we trust our thoughts and feelings as a genuine truth.

    Both exist, but few are real. Most are just ego-centered wishful thinking or acquired values,

    opinions, and judgments. Don’t believe, and don’t be attached to most of your thoughts/ feelings,

    this is not only pretentious but also dangerous.

   Our mind is a fantastic helper but also our worse deceiver.

2-Our mind loves to travel in different spacetimes such as past and future,, and rather than the present

   because he wants to control and keep us in permanent dreaming states.

  So, we are spending a lot of time in our:

        Past which may bring guilt, sorrow, regrets, resentment, and in our

        The future may bring worries, fear, unrealistic expectations, and disappointment if not fulfilled.

   Past and future are, by definition, fictional (not real) and therefore the main source of illusion/delusion.

   Remember that we are alive only in the present moment, and yet, our mind loves fictional worlds,

   and hates the present moment because the “NOW” represents factual reality during which the mind

  cannot play fictional scenarios.

  Trying to live in the present moment all the time will ease most NEGATIVITIES, but it requires a

  lot of effort, and mindfulness practice, or it can be impossible because of mandatory planning.

3-We believe that accumulation of goods means accumulation of ongoing happiness or

  “ the more the better”. There is no such correlation and the opposite is obvious since the permanent    

    desire for happiness never stops simply because 1)this happiness is transient, and 2)outside sources

    of happiness are unlimited.

 4-We believe that we are permanent, independent, isolated, indispensable, and unique with a

    separate self-entity, self-sustained, and self-intrinsic life.

    This is a great source of subconscious anxiety.  

5-We believe that we control our life. Can you control what will happen in 3 days, next month?

    even if properly planned?

6-We believe that life should be nice to us, but life is not a living being. Life is just what it is with

    its good and bad moments.

7-We have this illusion that almost everything is permanent. Only impermanence is constant.         

These 7 sources of illusions and delusions listed are mind-generated concepts, notions, and beliefs

The ending of them greatly reduces the frequency and severity of suffering. It is called Nirvana.

As long you are aware of their apparition, and origin, you should be able to control them better that is

to say to be more mindful of the factual realities surrounding us in the present moment. Thank you.