People use different terminologies. For me, what matters is understanding the nature of stress, mental tension and its cessation.
You want things. That much is presumably obvious. Health, happiness, a good partner in life, enough money so as not to need to worry about food, clothes, somewhere to live. Maybe other things too – an interesting job, pleasant people to work with and so on. Your desires seem to channel your energy to achieve these, each aim according to how you go about achieving it.
If you want to be a physician, you register at the best university you can.
If you are looking for a life partner, you frequent places where you are more likely to meet the sort of people you like.
And so on…
These desires do not in themselves necessarily cause you suffering. However, when the desires sometimes become very intense: “I must have this or that” then you are more likely to suffer from this, as you can never guarantee you will get what you want. And even if you get it, you can never guarantee that getting it will necessarily bring you the satisfaction you crave, simply because the world is not that simple. And there is always the background anxiety of losing it.
When you act, you necessarily act out of how you think things work. If you are hungry you may go into a restaurant, for example. It seems logical. But in fact the food there may be terrible, or the service so bad it takes away your appetite. You may find yourself sitting near people you really do not like, or suffering from food poisoning afterwards. Or it may be fine and you just enjoy your meal. You can never know for certain in advance.
You act out of what you think your actions will cause. But since your understanding of this world is very, very minimal, the results may be very different from what you planned. This ignorance of how the world really works, and your desire for a guaranteed outcome can cause you a great deal of suffering in life. Although you would like to control what happens, it turns out this is not really an option.
When you realize very deeply that you do not know how this world exists and works in reality, then the gaps between what happens and what you planned or wanted trouble you less. You understand, as the Tibetans say, that:
I think what I think.
I do what I do.
What happens, happens.
There is not much more to it than that. I warmly invite you to:
take some quiet time each day to sit alone in a pleasant place with no particular objective;
notice what happens.
20 minutes to an hour each morning is sufficient. Touch this place of understanding as often as possible.
Here is some more guidance I have written to help you with this:
Keep well and happy,