The Farmer & the Cobra

 “In short, the Dhamma teaches that whatever suffering arises will pass away. There’s nothing more than this. There’s just suffering arising and suffering passing away. That’s all there is, which is why we suffer, why we’re in a turmoil in this cycle of wandering-on. Why are we in a turmoil? Because we don’t know this truth as it actually is. When you don’t recognize suffering, you feed it, thinking that it’ll be pleasure. But eventually it bites you, because it’s suffering.

It’s like the story of the farmer and the cobra. The cobra lies stiff in the cold, and the farmer feels pity for it. He thinks, “I have enough kindness to help this animal find some comfort.” That’s because he doesn’t recognize what it is. He doesn’t recognize that this is a snake that can bite people. Because he doesn’t recognize it, he picks it up and holds it to his chest. As soon as the snake warms up, it bites us.”

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