The Buddha most compassionately uttered that all humans suffer. All of us will get sick, have our hearts broken, experience the heartache of losing loved ones, and eventually die ourselves. This was the first Noble Truth.
But we also suffer because of our egos. Unlike death, sickness, and having our heart broken, we can control our egos. Ego is what drives us to do things that are out of accord with the way. Life can never appease the ego because it always wants more.
At its core, the philosophy of Buddhism is about balance. The Buddha described it as “The Middle Way.” Dharma, which is the Buddha’s teachings, is the method to achieve this equilibrium. Balance is essential because we live in a world of duality with opposing forces. It is true that almost all in existence has two poles: negative and positive, pleasure and pain, good and bad, chaos and order, hot and cold, up and down, etc. But extremes on either side cause imbalance. The way is not found by reaching for the positive or by denial and aversion of the negative. The path of the Buddha is the middle way.
Poems are less literal but somehow more true. The above poem is based on something that happened to me in May of 2018 while meditating on psilocybin. I wasn’t under a bodhi tree, but rather in the mountains of Colorado. The actual Buddha Siddhartha did not appear, but I was suddenly and powerfully awakened. Really what I think I experienced was a Kundalini Awakening.