On the Uposatha, Tahn Pamutto reflects on the core understanding of the Four Noble Truths – that we practice not because it is pleasant and healthy and wonderful but because we have to. Samsara is a mess, and when we really look at our lives we can sense the subtle (or not so subtle) dissatisfaction and angst underlying it all. This is the truest source of inspiration for our practice. Practice because you have to, because there is suffering and you want out.
“Meditating is not for the happiness we’re getting. Again, everything we are getting, we are going to lose.
It’s unhappiness that we are letting go of. It’s our suffering that motivates us.
We can reflect on “what is the potential for suffering today?”
Even if we can only be filled with the ability to not get pissed off, that will be an accomplishment. We will have let go of suffering. And that is the real measure of success.
The dhamma hasn’t changed. It’s core is realizing that what “gets to us” and trying to let it go. We are getting “better” by trying not to get worse.”