We all know people who seem addicted to unhappiness. They seem to constantly perpetuate it and the more they try, the more they get screwed. From the outside I observe them and wonder why they can’t see what I see.. the simple links in behavior or thought that leads to the constant unhappiness. I’m sure many look at some things I repeatedly do and wonder the same thing.
A key element in noble friendship is when we can point those things out to each other.
Even the tinies bit of awareness can break the cycle.
The Buddha listed twelve ways he believed we perpetuate unhappiness. As the description reveals, everything is connected. Kind awareness is the key to breaking the cycle of suffering. By bringing attention to the eight and ninth links, we can begin to choose to respond with kind acts of compassion to pain and with non-clinging to pressure.
1. Ignorance, which leads to
2. Mental formations ( thoughts or emotions ), which lead to
3. Consciousness, which requires
4. Name and form, which has
5. Six senses ( physical sensation, hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and mental thoughts) through which stimuli generate
6. Contact, which creates sense impressions that generate
7. Feelings ( pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral ) that generate
8. Craving ( either to keep or to get rid of the feeling ), which causes
9. Grasping ( or aversion ) which generates
10. Becoming ( identifying with the experience as personal ), which generates
11. Birth ( incarnating around the grasping ) which generates
12. Suffering or dissatisfaction. ( unhappiness! )