Last week we completed our exploration into the Ten Paramis. Tomorrow we will be moving into a new practice area. We will begin an exploration into the Vipallasas or the four distortions – (1) taking that which is impermanent to be permanent; (2) pursuing satisfaction from what which is unsatisfactory; (3) assuming self where there is no self and (4) seeing the unattractive as attractive. These four distortions are part of the foundation for all our conditioning, clinging and grasping. They are hardwired into our human existence and show up in our thoughts, perceptions and views. Through stillness and awareness we can learn to see them for what they truly are – distortions of reality.
Practicing with the four distortions opens the door to the great liberation of the Four Noble Truths. It begins with realizing the existence of suffering. This may seem like a no brainer but we rarely notice the existence of suffering. We constantly notice the existence of the unpleasant feelings and emotions, bad situations and aversive circumstances. This, however, is not the suffering Buddha was pointing to. The key to all inner peace is understanding suffering. When we can be with true suffering without running or obsessing, we are at the doorway to liberation.
The first step in understanding suffering comes with recognizing the four distortions. Tomorrow night we will begin our discussion with a general overview of what the distortions are and where they fit in the overall practice structure.
With a deep bow…