When the Buddha clearly saw suffering and the cause that gives rise to suffering, he looked for a way to solve the problem. He realized that it had to be solved at the cause: the mind that’s deluded. So he developed intelligence in the area of the heart and mind, to see if the things the heart and mind are infatuated with are really worth that infatuation. Exactly how wonderful are they really? This heart and mind that likes things: The Buddha saw right through it.
He saw that the liking comes solely from our side. The things we like don’t respond to us in any way. They’re not aware of us. The things that make contact with the body—cold, hot, soft, hard—act simply in line with their nature as it’s always been. Lights and colors have always been the way they are. Whether we like them or not, whether we get involved with them or not, they’re just the way they are.
…All the problems in the world, from that past into the present, come from the fact that the heart isn’t intelligent. It hasn’t gotten down to the nature of the truth. That’s why it falls for its fabrications that arise, stay for a moment, and then keep changing into something else.
We run after fabrications, glad when they arise. And then when they disappear, we go looking for more—because we like them. We’re attached to them because we satisfy ourselves with them, thinking that they give us enough happiness—but then we’re always hungry, craving for more. We’ve never had enough.
When will we be able to stop if we keep on running after our desires and gratifications? What real satisfaction have we gained from these objects when they keep falling away and ending?
What doesn’t fall away, what doesn’t end, is the truth—the truth of objects and of things that aren’t objects. The truth is always our guarantee.
This reflection by Ajaan Suwat Suvaco is from the book, The Intelligent Heart : Five Dhamma Talks,
(pdf) pp.5, 5-6, translated into English by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu.