When the Buddha was asked what is being enlightened, he stated it was a quality of being ‘awake’. Awake to what though?
In the Darhma (teachings) Buddha outlined three areas that we can wake up to.
1) Dukkha, literally translated as unsatisfactory-ness. Buddha taught that on the whole most of life is not quite how we expect it or want it to be. Our life has lots of ups and downs, highs and lows. So when you do hit a pot hole on the road you don’t add your own special sauce of suffering to it. There are a few ways to tell if you are enjoying a little extra suffering. You whine and moan, probably try to get someone to help your out of your situation, possibly blame some one for your situation and mostly you clutch onto the bad event and don’t let go.
2)Anicca, is impermanence. Nothing lasts forever. This can be a good thing especially if you are stuck in Dukkha suffering,to remember that whatever low or bump you are experiencing now will not stay like that for long. This is actually the beauty of life. We grow, we change, we age. The trick is to embrace the impermanence. If we embrace the passing of everything we become more grateful for what we have now.
3)Annata, an absense of a separate self. We are all interrelated, we all breath the same air and walk the same earth. The apple you eat has passed through many many hands to arrive with you. From the person who plants the seed to the point of sale, all of these people work to bring you one apple. Everything around you is the work of everyone else. If we realise that we are all connected in some way then we might be more polite to the check out girl, more patient while waiting for coffee, less judgmental and more giving.
Practice for today: Examine how you cope with the states of dissatisfaction, loss or impermanence. Wake up to the transitory nature of the world around you.Feel the connection of your living being to everything around you.