The importance of understanding in our journey to overcome suffering is an underlying feature of the Buddha’s teaching. Only when we know why we suffer can we learn how to escape from it.

A key feature of the mind that it is critical to understanding is its habit forming nature. Things that we think and do result from causes and those causes in turn have effects on the physical world, but they also impact our mental condition.

If we understand that our actions have consequences beyond their physical impacts, we can use this information to improve our spiritual well being. When we take actions that lead us to suffering, then quite unfortunately, we will be inclined to take those actions again.

Thankfully, the reverse is also true. Actions that lead us to happiness, will also result in our predisposition to repeat those fruitful endeavors. This understanding gives us an even greater imperative to seek out mindfulness training.

There is no action that would do more to predispose us to happy results than the action of bringing the mind into the present moment. When mindfulness becomes a habit, we will be planting seeds of happiness wherever we go and it will not be long before we have the occasion to reap all of those rewards.

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(1) Understand the Pain