Impermanence: Buddhism and Negative Emotions

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Impermanence, suffering, emptiness and selflessness. Buddhist monk Ven Geshe Lhakdor talks about the four seals of dharma to Sonal Srivastava

What is the Buddhist perspective on impermanence?
Anything that is conditional and exists because of certain causes and conditions is impermanent. We begin ageing from the moment we are born. Impermanence of death begins from the moment of birth. Impermanence is the reality of life.

How does one deal with suffering?
All contaminated things bring suffering. You have to do away with negative emotions; they contaminate the mind. You can reduce negative emotions by analytical meditation, and by cultivating positive emotions. Buddha said "I have shown you the path of liberation; it's up to you now." When you pray, understand the true meaning of prayer — it shouldn't be just an external performance. It's important to bring transformation within to reduce negative emotions and to enhance your peace and happiness. The suffering that we often experience is called suffering of suffering in Buddhist texts. Suffering of suffering manifests in headaches and stomach aches. We are not very good at dealing with this kind of suffering. The second kind of suffering that Buddha identified is suffering of change. Initially, it's a kind of pleasure, but after a passage of time, it becomes a source of suffering. Buddhist teachings say you are controlled by your mind; the problem is the mind, which is dominated by negative emotions. Therefore, you need meditation to help your mind create positive emotions. Increase the number of times that you meditate and you will be able to feel positive emotions. If you are able to do that, you will become a good Buddhist practitioner.

Does being attached lead to suffering? How can it be dealt with? First of all, think that attachment will bring more problems; think that you can enjoy the same material possession with attachment or without it. When you become attached to someone or something, you...
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