where do questions come from?

“There’s an old, old story drawn from the sutras, in which the Buddha compared the futility of looking for the causes and conditions that give rise to certain thoughts to a soldier who’d been shot by a poisoned arrow on the battlefield. The doctor comes to remove the arrow, but the soldier says. ‘Wait, before you pull out the arrow, I need to know the name of the person who shot me, the village he came from, and the names of his parents and grandparents. I also need to know what kind of wood the arrow is made from, the nature of the material the point is made of, and the type of bird that the feathers attached to the arrow were taken from…’ on and on. By the time the doctor had investigated all theses questions and returned with answers, the soldier would be dead. This is an example of self-created suffering, the kind of intellectual overlay that inhibits us from dealing with painful situations simply and directly.

The moral of the story is to let go of the search for reasons and stories, and simply look at experience directly. Extract the poison arrow of pain right now and ask questions later. Once the arrow is removed, the questions are irrelevant.” (Mingyur, 2009, p. 162)

Mingyur, Y. (2009). Joyful wisdom: Embracing change and finding freedom. New York, NY: Harmony Books.

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One Response to “where do questions come from?”

  1. Melanie Says:

    Boy oh boy, this post could not have come into my life at a more opportune moment. As always … thank you and bless you!

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