Oakville Zen Meditation

511 The Second Noble Truth Part 2 : delusion & illusion July 6th 24 by Miranda

The Second Noble Truth (Part 2)

Last time we were talking about the second noble truth, we started to examine the cause of Dukkha. The Buddha mentioned greed, aversion, and delusion as the three poisons, which bring problems for us and in the world. Today we will look at delusion or ignorance as one of the sources of our suffering.


Delusion can be defined as the inability to differentiate genuine realities of our surroundings and life in general i.e. “ This tea is hot” from our mind-made fictional world often ego-driven as described below:

The main causes of our delusion or ignorance are:

  1. Primarily related to our identification with our thoughts. We are constantly thinking and mistakenly take our thoughts as real even if they do exist.
  2. We are also deluded when we believe we have control over things, people, events, etc., when in truth, phenomena arise and pass away, and we merely witness them. 
  3. We hold tight to the hope of a future happiness that is elusive because real happiness comes from within and not from external circumstances, and we often seem to miss the present moment, which is the only existing time.  This delusional search for something outside ourselves, that will make us happy, keeps us tangled in an endless cycle of suffering.
  4. We’re also ignorant of our true nature and the genuine reality around us. Not only do we identify with the projections we create, but also with a self as a separate and independent entity. At some level, we sense there is no solid self we can rely on, but this view is usually conceptual and not based on a deeper investigation into the fabrications that our egos create.
  5. We are also deluded when subconsciously, we believe that almost everything, including us, is permanent, whereas everything is transient. As the Buddha famously said, “All compounded phenomena disintegrate.” Nothing is solid and everything is always changing. Everything is impermanent within a circle of creation, disintegration, and re-creation.

We don’t usually question if there’s a way out of Dukkha– we assume that’s the way life is. We’re so conditioned in this way of being that we think it is normal, even right, so we just keep perpetuating this mistaken view. But there is a way out of this vicious cycle, and the Buddha lays out the roadmap in the third and fourth noble truths, which we will explore in future Dharma talks.  

Thank you☺ Miranda