There Is No Suffering 90

The second noble truth is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism called the ‘principle of conditioned arising from karma.’ Particular actions created karmic forces that lead to particular consequences. This is the principle of conditioned arising; that anything that arises is the result of various conditions coming together, and in particular, the coming together of karma that one has already created.

Practice itself is a kind of accumulation, so it too can be a causal factor in the second noble truth. When done with attachment to self, even helping sentient beings and acting virtuously can accumulate as causes of suffering. For this reason, we should not hold on to the idea of ‘I’ when helping others, nor should we expect reward when engaging in virtuous actions. By continuing to practice, eventually, you no longer see yourself as helping others; rather, you see sentient beings helping themselves. You see things in the light of the coming together of causes and conditions. Ultimately, you will no longer perceive that there are even sentient beings to be helped, either by you or by them. The Diamond Sutra says: “To deliver all sentient beings without delivering any sentient being is truly delivering sentient beings.” This is truly a state of emptiness and non-attachment. At this level, there will be no more accumulation of the causes of suffering.

The Cessation of Suffering