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Why Buddhism is True, Robert Wright


An introspective look at Buddhism through Western eyes. What’s fundamental to the Buddha’s teachings is the general dynamic of being powerfully drawn to sensory pleasure that winds up being fleeting at best. Meditation can weaken the link between perceptions and thoughts, and feelings, the affective resonances, that typically accompany them. If you weaken them, and your perceptions become increasingly free of affective associations, this, in turn, can change your perception of the world. For me, I think meditation helps you become free – you are not attaching these judgmental, affective connotations to things. Not attributing essence so strongly to things can be a source of freedom. Not making judgments means not letting your feelings make judgments FOR you. And what, let’s say, “getting in touch with your feelings” means is not being so oblivious to them that you get pushed around by them, which allows you to inform your responses to the world with the clearest possible view of the world. Just another reason why meditation can be so transforming for your mind. Accept an unpleasant feeling as just a feeling can give you a critical distance from it, and in turn, help diminish the unpleasantness. Accept your presence and observe how your feelings feel. I have learned most negative feelings – they are illusions. This can be a good Western foundation for all those interested in beginning meditation. I hope you will.

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