It’s Worse Than You Think

William B. Turner
2 min readJan 4, 2023
The Buddha

Buddhism is too honest to be as popular as it might be. Lots of people are happy with the Christian fairy tale of eternal life in this mythical heaven place, even after a lifetime of suffering, apparently, but they do not want to hear about how to escape the suffering right now.

Maybe that’s because Buddhism reminds them that they are suffering, or at least that human life is a series of disappointments. Even those of us on the Buddhist path may resist admitting the full horror that is human life. The Buddha taught us that even pleasure is ultimately painful because all is impermanent, so it will not last forever and after the pleasure ends, you will be right back to neutral at best, in pain at worst.

We spend too much time like the Bride in Kill Bill, desperately hanging from the ceiling, waiting for our moment to attack. In the movie, she eventually wins her personal war, but at the cost of the huge amount of bad karma from having killed a lot of people.

This is not a viable option for most of us. Better to just let go and face the inevitable, which is what we do with our consistent meditation practice. We work on letting go a bit at a time, at a measured pace to reduce the terror inherent in the whole program.

But until we awaken fully, we still suffer to some extent from delusion, one of the big problems the Buddha identified for humans, primarily the delusion that we will some day find exactly the right formula that will solve all of our problems and make this life happy.

Not gonna happen, according to the Buddha. Better to sit still and look the horror in the eye, which will cause it to retreat and wake us up from our delusion.

So, keep up your consistent meditation practice.

I hope to start a Buddhist Vihara as a site where people can visit for meditation courses and long retreats. You may help by donating here. My thanks to everyone who has already donated.

--

--