Like a doctor, Buddha diagnosed life as dukkha (pain, suffering, dissatisfaction). What’s your solution? How can you be not-dukkha? I recently watched the movie based on the book Eat Pray Love which seemed to me to be a random collection of aphorisms. The main character learns the joy of doing nothing in Italy; to eat and indulge without worrying too much. Then in India she learns to express devotion and surrender control and forgive herself. Then in Bali it seems she gets her divine reward for growing in those ways by falling in love and letting go a little more. It reminded me of the world’s largest collection of ancient aphorisms, which you can find at the ruins of the temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece. Here between the 8th century BC and the 4th century AD, priestesses gave inspired advice to emissaries from around the world. The aphorisms and maxims are inscribed in ancient Greek on the pillars all around the ruins ; here are about 150 of them, though the most famous is “Σαυτον ισθι” (Be/Know Yourself), because Socrates often quoted it. The trouble is, there are too many instructions, right? What is YOUR answer to Buddha’s diagnosis? As an example, “forgive yourself” from the movie is great if that’s what you need. But for a narcissist, forgiving themself is the wrong direction — they probably need to feel even more responsible. Even the advice I share about meditating can only apply to some of you. ‘Pay more attention’ may be the right direction if you tend to drift off, but may be the wrong direction if you are overthinking things. So, where are you now? What is your right direction to be not-dukkha? We have the Ashtanga yoga opening chant that venerates the “jungle physician” to cure the delusion of samsara. You might think sukkha (happiness), being the opposite of dukkha is the solution, but facing life’s challenges with a joyful lighthearted ever-positive attitude is still only good specific advice to where some of us are. Sometimes we need to face things with a serious and determined mind and admit that the situation is truly tragic. Being happy is not always the cure for being unhappy, but being content is the middle path. How can you be content? Let’s find and create that now as we meditate.

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