Why we need Buddhism in Modern Times
The source of all our daily problems and suffering is our uncontrolled desire, also known as ‘attachment’. Since beginningless time, because we have had uncontrolled desire for the fulfilment of our own wishes, we have performed various kinds of non-virtuous actions – actions that harm others. As a result, we continually experience various kinds of suffering and miserable conditions in life after life without end.
When our wishes are not fulfilled we usually experience unpleasant feelings, such as unhappiness or depression; this is our own problem because we are so attached to the fulfilment of our wishes. When we lose a close friend we experience pain and unhappiness, but this is only because we have no ability to control our desire. When we lose our possessions and the things that we like, we experience unhappiness and we become upset and angry.
This is because we have uncontrolled desire for these things. If we were able to control our desire there would be no basis to experience these problems. Many people are engaged in fighting, criminal actions and even warfare; all these actions arise from their uncontrolled desire for the fulfilment of their own wishes. In this way, we can see that there is not a single problem experienced by living beings that does not come from their uncontrolled desire.
This proves that unless we control our desire our problems will never cease. Therefore, anyone – whether Buddhist or non-Buddhist – who does not wish to experience problems and suffering should learn to control their desire through training in the particular meditations that are presented in Buddha’s teachings.