Buddhism after 20 years of practice

The four noble truths can be interpreted as such:  Suffering exists, the cause of suffering is craving (wanting things to be different than the way they are), it is possible to be free of suffering, the way to be free of suffering is the eight fold path (the pursuit of mastery in all things).

The suffering being worked is the unnecessary suffering on top of things.  For example, if somehow you were cut by a knife, the wound would hurt and there would be pain as the injury recovered, this pain is real.  The unnecessary suffering is the layer on top, the thoughts that may occur, “with this injury I won’t be able to work, do I have enough sick leave to cover this?  If not I won’t be able to pay my bills and then …”, this extra layer, which could be described as self-induced or “untrained” is the suffering we can be free of.

It is through meditation and allowing the mind to slow down and become still which allows the suffering to lesson until it is essentially no longer present.

Once the mind is still there are still interests and pursuits, plans can be made and worked towards.  Thought is used with planning but once the mind has reached stillness, a majority of the time is spent hanging out with the stillness, as it is a nice place to be.  Of course the familiar thinking mind can be kicked back on as needed, such as when selecting tile to install in a bathroom remodel, but there is no longer a need to ride the endless untamed thinking.

Are Buddhists happy?  Well not necessarily.  Someone who has trained will be more and more free of the unnecessary suffering, but does being free of suffering necessarily result in happiness?  No.  However, it is a good starting point.  There is a next step.

The next step is allowing something to grow within you.  It’s tricky for this to happen with all the extra suffering as it wears you out.  Once free of it though, and whatever other major self-destructive habits you have which deplete you, there is extra “life force energy” to work with, and this will build up within you on its own accord with time.  The human body runs on this “life force energy” and dormant parts will come to life as things power back up.

The awakened being is fully energized with this “life force energy”, free of suffering, and influential in the world.  Awakened can be interpreted as the opposite of asleep, literally the opposite of someone who wakes up groggy in the morning, someone who is awake and full of life & potential.

This guy knows: https://18.tyler-brown.com/watch/44271695_163557957