The third noble truth that the Buddha taught is the truth of
cessation. The truth of cessation (gokpa) is related to the concept
of tharpa, or "liberation." In discussing the possibility of
cessation, we should get rid of fictitious stories about how great it
is to get there and become somebody at last. Such ideas may be
obstacles. In relating to cessation, the question is whether we have
to use our imagination or whether we actually can experience a sense
of relief or freedom. The truth of the matter is, that in regard to
cessation, imagination does not play a very important role. It does
not help at all in getting results. The experience of cessation is
very personal and very real, like the practice of meditation.
Generally, however, our experiences of freedom or liberation are
quite sparse and minute -- and when we do have an occasional glimpse
of freedom, we try to catch it, so we lose it. But it is possible to
extend such glimpses.
From "Awakening and Blossoming," in THE TRUTH OF SUFFERING: and the
Path of Liberation. Forthcoming from Shambhala Publications.
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