What is the connection between human suffering and modern theories of consciousness? Between meditation and authentic knowledge of reality?
We refer to Buddhism more as an applied teaching than to a religious school and focus exclusively on the practical aspects of it: getting rid of suffering, dissatisfaction and illusions.
This religion is one of the most practical religions among the widespread religious traditions of the world. The Buddha himself spoke about the meaninglessness of purely theoretical questions about the world origin or where we find ourselves after death, whether there is a God, etc. This knowledge will not lead people to enlightenment. The Buddha said: "I taught one and only one thing, this is the teaching about suffering and the cessation of suffering."
Dukkha has a wider meaning than mere suffering. You can add this term to the words "anxiety", "dissatisfaction", "impossibility to reach satisfaction", "stress", "intolerance", "impermanence". All this Dukkha - the impossibility of reaching a final satisfaction. The principle of the impossibility of final satisfaction is the aim of many searches. While we are striving for something, it seems to us that the achievement of the goal will bring long-awaited happiness. But when we achieve this, we do not get the expected satisfaction.
Everyone knows the feeling of sweet anticipation of the reward when the goal is achieved. But often, we are confronted with disappointment when the goal is achieved (for example, we have achieved a certain level of financial wealth). Instead of the pleasure that we were waiting for, new desires and needs come.
It turns out that our perception gives us a false expectation of satisfaction that will never come. But what does science say about this? At the dawn of mankind, such a mechanism was beneficial for the survival of our species. Eternal dissatisfaction and anticipation of happiness, which will not come true, stimulated a person to constantly search for new types of food, new sexual partners, new ways of status-affirmation. Dissatisfaction made the ancient man move, so nature did not make him initially happy and self-sufficient. Human happiness was not beneficial to evolution.
Now let's move on to the question of meditation.
Two types of meditation were reviewed, each of which relates to one of the stages of the eightfold path. This is concentration mediation and meditation of mindfulness. These two meditations differ in that in the first case, a person completely retains concentration on one thing (mantra, breathing), and in the second, tries to observe his mind. The main task of meditation is to learn to see the world as it is.
Modern science fully supports meditation in a meaning that it understands in Buddhism - meditation, giving the person the opportunity to choose which emotions to obey, and which not, allowed, firstly, to decide which emotions to listen to and which not to. Secondly, to save your perception from distortions born of momentary feelings and attachments. With the help of meditation, a person can reprogram himself in accordance with his own plan and cease to be a puppet of natural mechanisms that have lost their relevance.