There Is No Suffering 91

The third noble truth is the cessation of suffering, and of the causes of suffering. How does one stop accumulating the causes of suffering? It is useless to say, “I don’ t want any more suffering.” To stop a pot of soup from boiling, you have to put out the fire. To cease suffering, first, accept the consequences of your previous actions. Simultaneously, curtail creating more karma. If you owe karmic debts, pay them back, in the form of retribution.

If even virtuous acts can create more karma, should we also stop being virtuous? Definitely not! However, you should act without the idea of earning merit, for that would just be another form of desire. Being ordinary sentient beings, we cannot act, speak, or think without attachment.

The Path out of Suffering

The path out of suffering is to emulate the bodhisattva way by generating bodhi-mind, and acting with compassion in our hearts, and Buddhadharma in our thoughts. It is a process of cultivation called the eightfold noble path.32 Although we understand the need to stop suffering and being prey to the causes of suffering our karmic burden makes it difficult to find cessation. We need the fourth noble truth to remind us. We also need to practice the path, which is the gradual non-accumulation of the causes of suffering through the three studies ( tripitaka) of precepts ( sila-vinaya), concentration (samadhi), and wisdom (prajna).

The Precepts