I just came home from making a wrong turn on a N/S interstate again, maybe the fourth time I’ve made that wrong turn. The signs are confusing (at least to me) and I think I’m going to the South 95, but I’m on the North and I have to go miles up the highway before I can turn around.
So I caught myself today, right in the act of TRYING to do right despite my trying, I made the wrong turn. I know you have all done that too.
I use this mundane everyday experience to demonstrate to me what Karma is, and why we cannot get out of the suffering of Karma. And yet, the Buddha teaches suffering and the cessation of suffering, not the management of pain (suffering is mental pain) but the ending of suffering. That teaching is not on our Western psychological maps which teach the management of stress, not the ending of stress. We believe we need a little stress in order to be motivated to get rid of stress.
And this is true, but the Buddha teaching is that you use the wrong turn to see the right turn. You don’t escape stress, you know stress or suffering as suffering directly as you are doing it, and by being present with the suffering as you are creating it, the suffering ceases. When you Know Suffering as suffering without the story of. your suffering, the suffering ceases. Our suffering is held in place by our trying not to suffer. I watched myself make the wrong turn while trying to make the right turn. How absurd. I broke out laughing.