Author Topic: Sudden realization of dukkha  (Read 1382 times)


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Sudden realization of dukkha
« on: February 08, 2019, 09:03:17 PM »
Hi friends on the path,

I wanted to share this and ask about it. I only began speaking about it recently. I posted about it on Facebook and it got a lot of reaction, mostly positive and supportive.

There is some talk about sudden enlightenment, but what about sudden dukkha? This was my experience 10 years ago, it has taken me this long to find any kind of stability in life from that moment. It was the beginning for me, it was as if I was living unconsciously my whole life, very self-centered, I was a bully, causing suffering for myself and others, not being aware what I was doing at all.

But in an instant I suddenly became aware of it, I was 19, and at that time beginning to question myself, reality and what I believed in. Something shifted in a flash, it rose up in me and my life changed dramatically in that moment. I not only became aware of my own suffering, but also the suffering in my environment. I had this experience one night I was lying down to go to sleep, and I remember distinctly the next day going to town, it was very scary, I felt very isolated and vulnerable and lonely, I could see everyone's suffering, and I felt like I was the only one who could see it, and I've seen it ever since. Of course, I don't want to dwell too much on the past, but I really felt like sharing this today, I'm not completely sure why.

For years after this realization I was suffering but didn't know what to do about it, there was a lot of despair, anguish, depression, anxiety, confusion. But it all lead me to the path and where I am today, it's been a really profound journey, I've put a lot of effort in to my practice over the past year or so, but up until now this awareness of suffering has been over-whelming. So much so that I blocked myself off from the world for a long time, I went up to the mountains to shelter myself from it, I couldn't handle it. Now I am coming back, and it is a tough transition, but I feel I need to be in the world and share my energy, embracing, accepting and liberating myself from this suffering not by isolating myself from society but by being an active participant in it.

Thank you and peace.
"If you haven't cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn't begun." - Ajahn Chah


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Re: Sudden realization of dukkha
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 11:47:11 AM »

From my experience, pain was the best gift I received.
Experiencing only love and joys (which we know are dukkha rather quickly) do not lead you fast to great changes than intense sufferings.
In fact, I can remember that I've been researching for this path since being 6 or 7 yo and had to wait for a long time and multiple (failed because incomplete) attempts to find the Path.
But every wrong step lead me here and had to be lived to embrace Buddha's teachings.

Dukkha is the lever through which we can ascend.


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Re: Sudden realization of dukkha
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 05:30:08 PM »
Think the Zen guys are the ones most often talking about sudden enlightenment. That being said all the different schools of buddhism have different systems of explaining the different experiental levels on the path. F.eks Stream entry (therevada), kensho (Zen), sem-ngo tropa (Vajranayana). Though I don't know if this would correspond to your experience, but you could do some googlin'? Probably the best would be to see if you find a qualified teacher with enough experience him/herself that can help you out.


  • stillpointdancer
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Re: Sudden realization of dukkha
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 11:14:51 AM »
When you meditate, nothing much happens most of the time. You get the health benefits, but nothing to write home about. However, occasionally something does happen, like a dam bursting and then you spend the next few months trying to come to terms with what happened. There are various terms for this, but you could say they are flashes of insight. Often they are difficult to communicate, as garyatblackhouse recalls, and this means you have no outlet to resolve any issues arising from what happened.

Zen people call this 'sudden', not because it comes easy, because it can often come only after years of nothing happening, but because it comes like a flash, and then goes as quickly. These insights build up over time but can't be forced. They have to come when they are ready rather than when you wish for them. Of course the biggest sudden insight is enlightenment but for many Buddhists the one where you know you are never going to give up Buddhism, stream entry, is the most important.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka


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