Have felt worse

Johnny Cash: Feeling Bad and Feeling Good

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When Johnny Cash sang the Nine Inch Nails’ song “Hurt” he let you know what pain was.

You can find the lyrics here

When He sings “will the circle be unbroken” (with June Carter, Pops Staples and Carleen Anderson) he let you know what hope there is.

That pain he felt: that is temporary.

That joy he felt: that is temporary

Buddha talked about the the differences between how an uninstructed worldling and an instructed noble disciple (guess which one I am!) deals with and reacts to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. He called them the 8 worldly concerns or conditions. He put them into four pairs; gain and loss, fame and disrepute, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. This brief explanation of his can be read here, but the bottom line is the worldling gets engrossed by the ups and downs, by becoming attracted to or repelled from each of the pairs and so perpetuates their life. Whilst the noble disciple sees the eight as ephemeral and is not caught up in elation and dejection.

I read a Sharon Salzberg quote recently shared by @mindfuleveryday which put it more succinctly still ““We long for permanence but everything in the known universe is transient. That’s a fact but one we fight.”

At the moment I am going through a tough time at work:I thought I was good, but I have not being doing so well recently. So the trick I need (but find it SO hard) to learn is to see the loss, blame and disrepute happening to me as insubstantial, temporary and not existing from its own side. Then I shan’t run away from it and I shall be able to accept and deal with it better. I am nowhere near being able to do that, but at least thanks to this teaching I know what I should be aiming for.


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