The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Craving (taṇhā) is a strong and persistent drive to experience or acquire something. According to the Buddha, craving is one of the two causes of suffering, the other being ignorance. When we are unaware of why we are suffering or even that we are suffering, we are unable to even begin the process of freeing ourselves from it. On the other hand, we might be intensely aware of the incompleteness and unsatisfactoriness of conditioned existence but mistakenly believe that the solution to the problem is to pursue our desires with even more tenacity, thinking that getting what we want is the only compensation for all the difficulties in life. Once again, this will only prolong the problem. It is only when we begin to see with wisdom the true nature of craving and its causes that freedom becomes a possibility.