1.This body is impure
2.All senses are suffering
3.This mind is transient
4.Fixed Ideas Are Not of the True Self


The Four Stations of Mindfulness

Part 2 - "All senses are suffering"

Senses mean all the sensorial organs. In other words, your vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. These senses are supposedly all very important organs for human beings, but in fact, they are all illusions. We must realize this truth. The meditation to realize this is "All senses are suffering".


1. The Suffering When Senses Become Weak or Lost...

For example, suppose you appreciated to watch TV and became unable to do that. It is a great suffering when we are forced to stop doing something we like to do.
Concretely speaking, you should meditate as follows. Finally, you will truly understand that "all senses are suffering". Then you will be totally free from the attachment to the "senses". If you reach such a state, then you can advance to the next step.


How to Practice This Meditation

Imagine that you have lost your eyesight, that you have suddenly become unable to see beautiful scenarios, the faces of the people you love; you cannot read newspapers or your favorite comics or watch TV. A strong desire arises within you that you want to see these things badly. Continue to meditate until you feel an unbearable pain. Eventually, you will come to realize the following:

"What has given me pleasure has now become the cause of my suffering. Also, everyone will die someday. And all senses will disappear then. When the senses disappear, my True Self, that is immortal, would suffer tremendously. This is the suffering I go through when I have to detach myself from the things to which I have been attached. To avoid this, I should detach myself soon from these attachments of my senses."

If you come to realize this, this meditation is a big success. You will then be free from every attachment of your senses as you continue it. And I want you to endeavor yourself until you reach the state in which you don't mind whether you have senses or not.

If you succeeded in this meditation, go to the next step.


2. The Suffering which Results from the Changes of Things (The Objects of the Five Senses)


How to Practice This Meditation

Take a person or any living thing you love. It could be your husband, wife, child, lover, pet, etc. Suppose they got a serious burn on their face. How would you feel to see the keloid left on their faces, the faces you love so dearly? Could you love them in the same manner as you did before they got the burn?

Continue to meditate on this point until you realize that the sense organs which perceive changes are the cause of your suffering. After you have come to this realization, continue the meditation until you can detach yourself from the attachment to your senses just as in the first step.


3. The Suffering of Seeing and Hearing the Things You Don't Like

How to Practice This Meditation

Everyone recoils from seeing or hearing the things they don't like. It is because we have sense organs that we have to submit ourselves to the things we don't like. The purpose of this meditation is to realize this fact and thus detach ourselves from the attachment to the sense organs.

By becoming proficient in these three steps of meditations, you will be able to master the teaching: "Senses are suffering: therefore they are not of the True Self." Then you will attain the immovable, true sense organs. I would like you could put your heart in this meditation and reach such a state. And awaken yourself to the Truth, through your own experience.


* Additional note: The "Reality" mentioned in the Tibetan Buddhism refers to these true sense organs.