Learning an end to Suffering from a Junco

By | Sunday, April 01, 2018 1 comment

I was sitting in the garden at the Nyingma Tibetan Institute in Berkeley, California. Doing an exercise in expanding awareness of sound, I noticed an odd tick, tick, ticking. It was coming from the base of a table in the garden. It was shiny, mirrored metal. A dark-eyed junco saw his reflection in the table base and was attacking it.

I felt that the junco was teaching me a lesson in the Four Noble Truths. There is the Truth of Dukkha (suffering), the Truth of the origin of Dukkha, the Truth of the cessation of Dukkha, and the Truth of the path that leads to the cessation of Dukkha. The junco was suffering. The origin of its suffering was the illusion of an enemy that needed to be vanquished. The suffering would cease. The path leading to the cessation of suffering was to (a) recognize that his reality was an illusion, (b) accept that his enemy was part of his life and did not need to be vanquished, or (c) accept that his enemy was himself.

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