Scratching

by Friends of Godwin

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If you are looking forward to some pleasurable thing that you are longing for, at that moment you will feel some excitement, you will feel some pleasure arising, thinking: Maybe when I have that I will really enjoy it. And what is very significant is, when you get it, what next? What is beautiful about the first Noble Truth is, one way suffering is created is not getting what we want. I think we can all relate to that. But what happens when the next step comes, when we do get something we want? – This is a very, very deep teaching of the Buddha – when you get what you want, what is the next step? Wanting something different? Wanting something more? So this longing continues and at the end of it there is still dissatisfaction and discontent.

This aspect is very clearly presented in a beautiful and powerful simile in one of the Buddhist texts: it is like when you have a wound you feel like scratching it, and when you scratch it you get a nice feeling, a very pleasant feeling, and you continue to scratch, but the wound never heals. So if you really want to heal the wound, you have to stop scratching and go through that unpleasant sensation and from that something healing can arise.

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