Posted inDharma, Valerie's Messages

Message from Valerie: Suffering and Beauty

February 1, 2023

How is it possible to reconcile suffering and beauty?

In his first sermon after awakening, the Buddha said: “Within this fathom-long body is found all of the teachings, is found suffering, the cause of suffering, and the ending to suffering.”

That’s this discrete body, with its sense-gates, experience, hindrances, and intrinsic potential to awaken – to realize what this ‘body’ really is. This very body.

There’s another quote from the Pali canon, where the Buddha says of this teaching, “The dharma is beautiful at the beginning, beautiful in the middle, and beautiful at the end.”

Suffering, the cause of suffering, the ending to suffering: beauty in the beginning, beauty in the middle, beauty at the end. The dharma, the teaching: that which you are.

We might ask, ‘How is it possible to reconcile suffering and beauty?’ Is it possible to open the lens so wide that there is no equation and no remainder? And what if that means simply seeing things as they are?

This practice offers a way of exploring the matrix of suffering and beauty and discovering the fulcrum – the zero point – that collapses any measure and opens our hearts wide to boundless beauty, right here in the midst of this broken world.

Taste this ‘zero point’ – come home to it – and we may exclaim in wonder at what is already so.

Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash

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