Thais hold a parade to celebrate the completion of the Buddhist Tipitika in Northern Thai language
This year in Chomtong, Thailand, we celebrated the inauguration of a translation of the Buddhist Tiptitika, translated from the Pali into the Northern Thai dialect. The celebration was a culmination of decades of work by our head teacher, Ven. Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo, who patiently assembled the translation by slowly collecting ancient scrolls from throughout the northern region. The completion of this project demonstrates his endurance and is an inspiration to all of us who struggle along the path on a daily basis. He overcame all of those years of suffering to finally achieve his goal.
Finding the motivation to get up early every day is tough. But that’s facing what it takes to overcome suffering. All those negative feeling that are there the moment that you wake up or the moment that you sit down to meditate or the moment that you sit down to work are the source wisdom that we are seeking. Those are actually the information that we need to know what’s the right path. But how do we gain a better understanding of what it all means?
Perhaps there are some people who feel that they don’t need meditation because they already know how to be happy. And that’s fine. Our work and attention is devoted to those of us who are not boy-wonder or girl-wonder. It is the everyman and the everywoman who go to work day in and day out to eek out a life for themselves that ultimately confronts them with the view of emptiness that is required for spiritual progress and satisfaction. The paradox of life is that when we feel the lowest is the greatest opportunity for growth.
The Buddha taught us that there are three characteristics of all arisen phenomena that will always be present. They are the truths of impermanence suffering and not-self that are the marks of existence. When we begin to observe these characteristics clearly, that is the sign that we are on the path to the ultimate cessation of suffering because that is the sign that we are finally getting in touch with what is true and what is real.
The next step is to overcome suffering is by letting go and raising ourselves above it. That is achieved by simply directing the mind to the negative condition to observe it and then directing the mind to the present moment. Maintaining that present moment awareness on a regular basis is all that is needed to overcome suffering.