The Second Noble Truth is that all suffering is caused by craving. When we look at psychological suffering, it is easy to see how it is caused by craving. When we want something but are unable to get it, we feel frustrated. When we expect someone to live up to our expectation and they do not, we feel let down and disappointed. When we want others to like us and they don't, we feel hurt. Even when we want something and are able to get it, this does not often lead to happiness either because it is not long before we feel bored with that thing, lose interest in it and commence to want something else.
Put simply, the Second Noble Truth says that getting what you want does not guarantee happiness. Rather than constantly struggling to get what you want, try to modify your wanting. Wanting deprives us of contentment and happiness.
I have often heard the second noble truth described as our attachments to our desires. And I have appreciated Gudo Nishijima’s approach as he describes it as the philosophy of materialism or accumulation.
But if we go back to this instant, where dose the craving come from?
I suspect our dissatisfaction and cravings come from our thoughts that some thing is missing. But in reality, everything is already there. How could anything be missing?
Desires are not always a bad thing. If we did not act on them we might not work, or eat!
But when our desires are compounded by wanting to keep up with the Jones family then we have a problem.
The best way to look at this is not to live in some future state. Do not get caught up in longing for a different situation than you have right now. I have heard a lot of Zen teachers say when hungry eat, when tired sleep. That seems about right.
I realize this thought may need to be flushed out more.
I open it up to anyone’s participation.